Cook Elementary presents The Phantom Toobooth Jr

Date(s) - 12/18/2012-12/19/2012
6:00 pm

Cook Elementary School


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DECEMBER 18-19, 2012

COLUMBUS, MS (Dec. 10, 2012) – Columbus citizens will pass through a marvelous, magical tollbooth and discover new ways they can use grammar and math to exceed expectations and explore possibilities through Cook Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School’s 5th grade Boost students’ performance of The Phantom Tollbooth JR., happening Dec. 18-19, 2012, it was announced by Freddie Gershon, Chairman of Music Theatre International (MTI). The musical, based on the beloved children’s book THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is part of the MTI Broadway Junior Collection®, MTI’s special collection of musicals for younger performers which includes “JR.” titles, 60-minute musicals for performance by middle school children; and “KIDS” titles, 30-minute musicals for performance by elementary school children.

Featuring a book by Sheldon Harnick and Norton Juster, lyrics by Harnick and music by Arnold Black, The Phantom Tollbooth JR. tells the story of a ten-year-old named Milo, who is so bored with the world that nothing ever interests him, least of all the things or people that should. One day Milo discovers a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Upon driving through the Tollbooth’s gates, Milo commences a fantastic adventure which playfully draws inspiration from grammatical and mathematical concepts. Armed with a dictionary and pencil and accompanied by a faithful “watch” dog Tock, Milo must battle the demons of ignorance, re-unite the kingdoms of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis and achieve the “impossible” mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.

“Throughout The Phantom Tollbooth JR. we see Milo learn ‘what you can do is often a matter of what you will do’ and experience how much better life can be when he engages in the world with curiosity and imagination. The students are embracing the spirit of the musical by coming together as a team to use different art forms to present their interpretation of this classic story,” says Gershon.

Cook’s 5th grade Boost students will search for rhyme and reason when it presents the MTI Broadway Junior production The Phantom Tollbooth JR. on Dec. 18 at 6:00 PM and Dec. 19 at 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Admission is free. Any one who does not attend runs the risk of being stuck in the Doldrums and becoming a Lethargarian.

Students in the Boost program are those who scored Proficient and/or Advanced on at least 2 areas of last spring’s Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 (MCT2). There are 55 cast members who rehearse during a special time slot set aside for this enrichment program. Heather Rowland directs the play, with choreography by Courtney Hall. Nan Bolin is charge of props & scenery, Tina Morgan is musical director & Amy Martin will be handling lights & video.

Cook’s production of The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. is made possible in part through a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.