Take one boisterous bear, one protective panther and one belligerent boy, add a sneaky snake, an out-of-this-world orangutan and a treacherous tiger, and what have you got?
A rollicking production of Disney’s “Jungle Book for Kids” by the Children’s Community Theatre March 28 through 30 at Sycamore High School. Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are available at the door and cost $10 for adults and $5 for children.
CCT president and director George Schippits said this is the first time a production has been done with an all-kid cast in many years.
“When we started looking for our next show, the Disney DVD had just come out,” Schippits said. “It’s a fun show. Everyone loves the music.”
The show includes such classic Disney tunes as “I Want To Be Like You” and “The Bare Necessities.” He said colorful costumes and creative sets also make this production fun for the whole family.
Based on a Rudyard Kipling tale, the show tells the story of Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle by wolves. When the terrible tiger Shere Khan returns to the jungle, Mowgli’s animal friends decide he must be returned to the human world.
Guiding him on the journey are the protective black panther, Baheera, and the bungling but lovable Baloo the Bear. Along the way, they encounter wayward elephants, manic monkeys and hungry snakes.
Schippits said when Madison Bound of DeKalb walked in to audition, he was pretty sure he had found his Baloo. When the young thespian sang, he was certain.
“We’ve got a good Baloo,” Schippits said.
At just 18, Bound said he has been acting since the age of 7 and has been in about 30 different shows.
“This is my second show with CCT,” Bound said. “I really like George.”
Bound’s sister, Cadmium, plays the coconut tree.
“We have done a lot of shows together, and we always enjoy it,” Bound said of working with a sibling.
Paula Goral said her son, Christian Rubio, 12, has made a lot of new friends by being part of the cast. He portrays one of the vultures.
“This is his first time in a big show,” Goral said. “We saw the article for auditions and thought it would be fun.”
She said participation has been a good outlet for her son.
“He likes to sing,” she said.
Kelsie Kruskol of Sycamore said she auditioned with the role of Kaa, the snake, in mind.
“When I won the role of Bagheera, I just decided to make it my own,” Kruskol said.
The biggest challenge for Schippits is keeping 53 kids, ages 7 to 18, engaged and heading in the right direction.
“It’s a real challenge,” he said. “Barbed wire helps,” he added with a laugh.
“No, the kids are great. About 15 of them have never been in a big production like this,” Schippits said.
“They’ve done really well.”
If you go
What: "Jungle Book for Kids"
When: 7 p.m. March 28 and 29; 2 p.m. March 29 and 30
Where: Sycamore High School auditorium, 555 Spartan Trail
Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children; sold at the door