by Lynn on November 29, 2015

in The Passionate Playgoer

At Young People’s Theatre, Toronto, Ont.

Written by Mordecai Richler
New music and lyrics by Britta and Anika Johnson
Co-directed by Allen Macinnis and Jen Shuber
Musical direction by Diane Leah
Set by Dana Osborne
Costumes by William Schmuck
Lighting by Jason Hand
Sound by Emily Porter
Cast: Damien Atkins
Darrin Baker
David Gregory Black
Matthew G. Brown
Saccha Dennis
Sarah Gibbons
Kira Guloien
Jacob macinnis
Jeigh Madjus
Robert Markus
Sabryn Rock.

A lively production about charming six year old Jacob who has to say every thing twice to be heard.

The Story. Jacob is the youngest of childen. No body listens to him and to be heard he has to shout and say everything twice. It becomes a habit. So when asked how old he is, he says, “I’m two plus two plus two years old.” He means well, but he annoys people. He has adventures and run ins especially with the Hooded Fang who wants to put him in a dungeon. Jacob is desperate to escape and get home. He’s wily. Then he learns a secret and things take a turn for the better.

The Production. Co-directors Allen Macinnis and Jen Shuber have created a lively production with a strong cast. The music and lyrics are by the dynamic sister duo of Britta and Anika Johnson (who also did the same for the musical Brantwood). The lyrics are smart and the music bops you along. As Jacob, David Gregory Black has charm for days, a plucky, sweet attitude and he can sing in a strong, sure voice. As the Hooded Fang, Damien Atkins has attitude and an edge and the most wonderful baritone voice. Atkins also plays Mr. Cooper, stooped, teasing and a touch crotchety. It’s a sweet musical.

. When one is the youngest of several siblings, one can count on getting hand-me-downs from the older brothers and sisters. In the case of Jacob Richler, son of writer Mordecai Richler, he also got a book entitled Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang written about him in 1975, that has morphed into this beloved show. We see a sweet kid who is not taken seriously, listened too, or trusted with independence. Of course the kid will rebel. His smart father had it all figured out. That show has been resonating with children trying to find their voice and gain independence for 37 years and is still going strong.

Produced by Young People’s Theatre.

Opened: Nov. 24, 2015.
Closes: Jan. 3, 2016.
Cast: 11; 8 men, 3 women
Running Time: 70 minutes.

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