Toyland with Mickey Rooney
Stage and screen legend Mickey Rooney lends his vocal performance to Rainbow Puppet Production's latest musical 'Toyland!' This 100th anniversary production of Victor Herbert's classic musical tale features a bumbling pirate, a parade of toy soldiers, and a giant spider guarding a spooky forest. 'Babes in Toyland' is one of the most beloved operettas of all time. Since opening in Chicago and then Broadway 100 years ago, it has been made into a delightful film starring Laurel and Hardy. In the 1960's, Walt Disney filmed the musical with a cast featuring Ray Bolger and Annette Funnicello. Victor Herbert's beloved melodies to 'The March of the Toys,' 'I Can't Do the Sum,' and 'Toyland' are a memorable part of the American Songbook and they are all included in this brand new adaptation. This latest version of Toyland takes all of the musical and dramatic highlights of the story and blends them into a fast-paced puppet spectacular. Bo Peep has lost her sheep -- could her evil Uncle Barnaby be the cause? We'll have to follow her through the spider forest and on to Toyland where she seeks the help of the kind Master Toymaker. This adaptation was written and arranged by David Messick, author of Rainbow's 'Really Big Dinosaur Show,' 'The Amazing Adventures of Chessie the Manatee,' and the new musical 'The Wright Brothers.' 'It's like a dream come true to work with Mickey Rooney. He provided all the magic and excitement you'd expect from an MGM star! He's earned two Academy Awards, took Broadway by storm in 'Sugar Babies,' and won an Emmy along the way.' Mickey is joined by his wife, Jan Chamberlain Rooney, who provides the voice of Mother Goose. Jan currently tours with Mickey in their two person show 'One Man, One Wife.' She also worked as an artist at Hanna-Barbera animation studios. Other cast members include Kara Dennison as Bo Peep. She has provided voice work on many commercials and animated programs. The voice of Miss Muffett is Tiffany Haas who just completed a PBS musical special with Denyce Graves. Tiffany joined the Broadway cast of 'Wicked' in 2005. Red Riding Hood is Cindy Kays of the award-winning musical team C-Shells. This is far from Messick's first production of Toyland. 'In the 70's, I was cast as the giant spider in a production of Toyland,' says Messick. 'A year later I was made choreographer of another production. A few years after that I was directing a cast of 100 people in the largest touring production ever staged in Virginia.' 'I last directed the show on it's 80th anniversary. I promised myself I'd present another on it's 100th anniversary. It's scary how fast time flies!' The program was engineered by Steve Scheffler who also appears as the voice of evil Uncle Barnaby. Sets were designed by Rainbow Puppeteer Jason Wiedel. Puppeteers Kathie Davis and Regina Smith provided additional sets and costumes. Specialty puppets for the program were created by master puppet makers Laura Huff, Jill Harrington, and Frank Lakus. Credits: Rainbow Puppet Productions Presents Toyland! Adapted from the Operetta 'Babes in Toyland' Music by Victor Herbert Libretto and Lyrics by Glenn MacDonough New stage play and lyrics written and staged by David Messick Recording Engineered, Arranged and Produced by Steve Scheffler Puppets by Jill Harrington, Laura Huff, Frank Lakus Kathie Davis and Christine Frank Costumes by Regina Smith Scenic and promotional art by Jason Wiedel Rainbow Puppeteers include Kathie Davis, Katy Junkins, David and Marcy Messick, Regina Smith, and Jason Wiedel Special thanks to Alyce Mott of the Victor Herbert Renaissance and Constance Grayme for their assistance in finding original source material. Cast of Character in order of appearance The Master Toymaker - Mickey Rooney Red Riding Hood - Cindy Kays The Big Bad Wolf - Don Bartlett Jack - Tim Tharrington Jill - Lisa Ryan The Woman (Who Lived in a Shoe) - Chris Bartlett Mother Goose/Fairy Princess - Jan Chamberlain Rooney Miss Muffett - Tiffany Haas Little Bo Peep - Kara Dennison Barnaby - Steve Scheffler Gonzorgo the Pirate - Craig T. Adams Tom the Piper's Son - Jim Stensvaag Roderigo the Gypsy/Conductor - Jason Wiedel The Cypress Tree - Beverley Slayton Grumio - David Messick and Tyler Ryan.