November 28, 2013

‘Wind in the Willows’ on the Modesto Junior College stage

MJC stages an adaptation of the classic childhood story “The Wind in the Willows.”

Come along for that familiar wild ride with Mr. Toad and friends in Modesto Junior College’s production of “The Wind in The Willows.”

The classic childhood story has been adapted for the stage by MJC theater professor Michael Lynch and will run Dec. 5 to 7. The colorful production brings a world of woodland creatures to life to share in the adventures of Mr. Toad of Toad Hall. His forest friends include Mr. Rat, Mr. Mole and Mrs. MacBadger, along with the less friendly Jack Weasel.

Like the original Kenneth Grahame turn of the 20th Century story, the MJC stage production will be set in pastoral Northern England in a world where animals wear tweed suits and ride around in motorcars.

“I’ve been doing a lot of Greek and Shakespeare tragedies so I thought, let’s do something fun,” Lynch said of the holiday season production. “There are all kinds of costumes and it’s terrific. It’s very physical, fast-paced and a lot of action is going on all the time. It’s like a live-action cartoon in a lot of ways.”

Lynch has changed a few details, morphing some characters from male to female to add more diversity to the cast, but kept the essential story intact. The production, with a cast of close to 20, allows for a lot of ensemble work.

The show features Phil Azevedo as Mr. Toad, Ryan Welch as Mr. Mole, Travis Blansit as Mr. Rat, Robin Bjerke as Mrs. MacBadger, Kenny Shipman as Jack Weasel, Taylor Tucker as Jennie Weasel and more.

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