An oriole lands the `Adventure' of lifetime


August 18, 2005|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore oriole in the middle of the Amazon rainforest? It's unheard of, you say.

Perhaps. But not in the theatrical tale A Rainforest Adventure, it's not. The family show is presented by the Fun Company on Wednesday at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.

The musical play, written and directed by Julie Herber, tells the story of a young Baltimore oriole named Cal, who, while migrating with his parents, gets caught up in a trade wind and loses his way. Cal ends up in the Amazon rainforest and embarks on a variety of adventures.

"Cal meets up with various characters within the rainforest - a crazy trio of monkeys, a really wacky, funny trio of birds and a frog that becomes his guide," says Herber. "In a fun and musical fashion, the frog explains to Cal how one needs to exist in the rainforest. The frog [also] introduces the idea that rainforests are in danger."

And more than that, the musical show explores friendship, acceptance and how we all can live in harmony.

"The story has great educational information about the rainforest," Herber says. "But it's really a story about friendship and what you'll do to help your friends when they're in a jam."

The show has original songs by local musician Thomas Roberts. From calypso music to "rap-esque kinds of songs," the show includes fun, inventive and educational tunes for all ages, Herber says.

The production stars 16-year-old Colin Shultzaberger of Thurmont as Cal. The young actor is a student at the Ensemble School, which is a part of the Fun Company and the Maryland Ensemble Theater Company.

The Fun Company presents family theater and is partnered with the Maryland Ensemble Theater Company, which presents main-stage productions at its home venue in Frederick - the Maryland Ensemble Theater.

Fun Company productions are geared to children and are always enjoyable for adults, as well. A Rainforest Adventure is ideal for children of kindergarten age through fifth grade.

"The characters are bright and colorful enough that younger children will be able to appreciate [the story], even if some of the information might be over their heads," says Herber. "And the characters are clever and wacky enough so that older children will enjoy the humor. And the music is great. So I think everybody has a great time."

Herber adds: "We want to present kids with an exciting experience, and to really keep theater in their lives and show them through our art form how ideas can be expressed and explored."

"A Rainforest Adventure" will be presented at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday at Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster. $7; $5 for seniors, those ages 12 and younger and Arts Council members. Call 410-848-7272.

For more family events, see Page 34.

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