By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
A bright red plane takes a kid on an adventure, complete with his best pals, pumpkins full of candy and music, in “Captain Louie.”
In the Pied Piper Playhouse production, Louie (Josh Martin) has the new-kid-in-school blues. He turns to his best friend, a red toy airplane, that magically takes him on a Halloween adventure in his old neighborhood with his old friends.
“It’s a story of friendship: the desire to make new ones and the importance of old ones,” said director Jamey Grisham. “His old friends give him the confidence to make friends with the new kids.”
Grisham, who performed in Pied Piper productions as a kid and now works professionally in theaters in New York City, called on friends Jeff Baker, Sara Plunkett and Alex Dent to create the music, choreography and set designs, respectively, for “Captain Louie.”
Dent created a set that looks like something a kid could make, like houses and trees made out of what looks like popsicle sticks. One number includes a black-light effect with bright pumpkins. The kids’ costumes, from a Monster to a broom to a cat, are fun and cartoon-ish.
“There aren’t a lot of Halloween-themed shows,” Grisham said, so he’s having fun playing it up.
It’s not a scary play, but more of a comedy. Once Louie finds his old friends, they try to scare him at first, but then they go on fun adventures.
Tupelo Middle School student Martin said he’s found a lot of himself in Louie.
“He’s an extremely imaginative character,” Martin.
Auburn McCormick, a junior at Saltillo High School, plays Amy, one of Louie’s old friends, who’s dressed as a broom for Halloween.
“I’m the energetic, loyal friend,” she said. She likes the singing and dancing and knows Grisham’s New York-inspired directing will wow audiences.
“I really like the trick-or-treating, because the pumpkins are black-light and it looks cool,” she said. “We get to do a lot of showy things, and I know for the audience it looks cool.”
“Captain Louie” is a must for Halloween-loving kids of all ages, Martin said.
“It’s powerful, it’s loud, it’s big,” he said. “It’s for the kid in you. It’s for your imaginative side.”