- The Lake Country Playhouse has gathered together a huge cast
of enthusiastic young thespians to put on a delightful
production of J.R.R. Tolkein’s "The Hobbit" for
its children’s summer theater workshop.
With many actors playing multiple roles, many scene and
costume changes, the young cast seemed to know just what to
do. They kept the story moving smoothly and didn’t interrupt
the flow. Directors Matt and Maria Anderson deserve a lot of
credit for their creativity and diligence.
Some outstanding actors-vocalists must be mentioned. Jackie
Vondrak as Bilbo was fantastic. Her solos were impressive, but
her rendition of "Invisibility" is especially
noteworthy, considering its difficulty. Her performance of
"I Want to Go Home" is also beautifully delivered.
Josh MacCudden, the little tyke that plays the Dwarf
Leader, is incredible. He enunciates beautifully, stays in
character throughout, and can sing on pitch, as well. Jake
Koch as Bilbo’s nephew and the Goblin Patrol Leader also
The story involves the journey to recover treasures stolen
by the Dragon Smaug. The Dwarves elicit the help of the Hobbit
Bilbo because she is clever, and besides, they need her
presence to break up their number of the unlucky 13. Bilbo is
averse to adventure but is eventually persuaded by Gandalf to
take the risk and expand her horizons.
Along the way, the travelers are confronted with enemies
such as trolls, goblins. spiders and elves, not to mention the
human realities of weariness and hunger, but the 13 mighty
elves, with the help of Bilbo and Gandalf, prove that they are
made of sturdy stuff. It doesn’t hurt that Bilbo finds a
ring that makes her invisible. The story emphasizes the need
to fight the good fight against the forces of evil, believing
in your own resolve and effort. It also stresses the power of
Choreographer Maria Anderson did a fine job with movement
from marching to dancing to fighting scenes. The set design by
Ron Erlich was suggestive of many varying sites that were
easily transformed. Costumes by Amanda Kerr and company were
very cleverly assembled.
All in all, quite an accomplishment for all involved. The
earnest ardor of the young participants was evident
throughout, which made for a very entertaining experience for
the sold-out house.