Quote of the Day: “We are thrilled to bring this World Premiere adaptation of the beloved film An American Tail to the stage,” said Peter C. Brosius, Artistic Director of Children’s Theatre Company. “The work of the
incredible creative team of Itamar Moses, Michael Mahler, Alan Schmuckler all led by the amazing
Taibi Magar has been a joy to watch. The team has brought great humor and a huge heart to the
story of little Fievel Mousekowitz as he searches for his family and finds his own way in a new land.
It will inspire you, move you and leave you singing. We can’t wait to share it with the world.”
“It is a tremendous honor to be directing this piece,” said director Taibi Magar. “As a daughter of a political
refugee, the story resonates with me just as much today as it did 30 years ago! The writers have done an
exceptional job adapting it for the stage, a feast of theatricality and a gorgeous score!”
Quotes from the press release for An American Tail, the Musical, World Premiere at the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, MN.
When my boys were small, we watched the movie of An American Tail, and its sequel Fievel Goes West, many times. So, I felt a bit nostalgic as I watched it with my friend and her son on Saturday afternoon. It’s a darling show, filled with adventure, heartache, excitement, worry, and love. Love is at the heart of the Children’s Theatre Company. They know how to create a story that is engaging to children of all ages and highlight the importance of relationships and finding your way. An American Tail, the Musical checks all those marks. We’re immediately drawn into the story of the Jewish Mousekewitz family who are fleeing from persecution by the evil Cats in Russia. When Fievel gets separated from his family on their way to Ellis Island, we are fully invested in his journey and rooting for the family to be reunited. Along the way, he meets many interesting characters and learns that America might not be the fabled paradise where there are “No Cats in America and the streets are paved with cheese,” but he can find a way to belong there despite the hardships.
Matthew Woody is absolutely charming as young Fievel. He has all the mannerisms of a lost and scared little mouse boy, and all the bravery of one trying to find his way in a new world. Luverne Seifert plays his Papa, and also the mean Rat, distinctly different characters. He has an awesome voice for each of those roles where we get to see him as a devoted father who plays the violin and feels all the heartache of a disillusioned new world. He has a lovely voice for Papa, and a sinister one for the Rat. His great vocals shine in both roles.
Becca Hart plays Fievel’s Mama and a bug named Digit. She is absolutely delightful in both roles. She’s the sweet, protective Mama, and the busy “just trying to survive here” bug. Her singing is divine. Lillian Hochman plays Tanya, Fievel’s sister. I absolutely loved their duet for “Somewhere Out There,” a song that gets me every time.
Ryan London Levin plays Tony, the mouse who befriends Fievel. He also sang and danced wonderfully. Alexcia Thompson played Bridget in the performance that we saw. She did a great job as the feisty activist! Company member Autumn Ness plays the rich Gussie and others. Reed Sigmund is Honest John and others, and Dean Holt plays various roles, as well. The entire cast is terrific. You’ll hear all your favorite songs from the movie, and more, and meet some new characters as well. Several children fill in the ensemble.
Music direction by the fabulous Victor Zupanc. Many children come up before the show and at intermission to see inside the pit, and Victor often pops his head out and says hi. Dynamic choreography by Katie Spelman. I especially loved the number with the dancing bugs, lead by Becca Hart.
Director Taibi Magar brings out all the emotions of this wonderful show. The entire cast is terrific, and the musical score is wonderful. You can see An American Tail, the Musical at the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, MN through June 18, 2023. It might be a little scary in parts for younger children, like when the cats attack. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What is your family’s heritage? Do you know their story?