On April 18 and 19, the Mills Children’s School second and third grade classes performed their comedic rendition of James and the Giant Peach. Except their version was called James (and Jamie) and the Giant Peach.
The play followed James and Jamie on a fantastic journey in the miraculous peach, along with such characters as a centipede with 49 legs, played by Ella Hammarstedt and a glowworm, played by Ushio Endo.
The children performed songs adapted to acoustic guitar and bongos by music teacher Eve Decker, such as Green Day’s “Waiting” and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides.”
According to many of the play’s actors, the highlight of the comedy was a scene in which the Captain, played by Annika Sante, sailed below the peach and fought his first mate, played by Savannah Zvarik, for his whiskey. The chorus sang, “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” as the two actresses fought in a slapstick routine they choreographed themselves.
Zvarik affected a drawling Texan accent for her role as first mate, an impressive change from the English accent she had for her role as the grasshopper. According to Zvarik, she got her English accent from the BBC show Dr. Who.
“I received a lot of compliments,” Zvarik said, speaking after the performance. “I feel really inspired to do more plays.”
In preparation, the class read the Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, and watched the film adaptation, before adapting the story for the stage.
Still, students like Hammarstedt said, “Acting is hard. I was so nervous standing on that stage in front of all those people.”