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Story Last modified at 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mad fun at the Fine Arts Academy
'Madeline' a hit with theater-goers

Alaska Star staff

photo:News

Sixteen-year-old Slayton St. Pierre, left, of Chugiak High School is the "Strongman" in Alaska Fine Arts Academy's "Madeline and the Gypsies." Kurt Lumbert is "Clown" and Lori Lee, center, is "Gypsy Mama."

photo:News

Nine year old Marissa Lee plays "Madeline" in the musical. Marissa's mother and two sisters are also in the production. The show continues this weekend, with the last two performances at 7 p.m. May 13 and 14.

The musical "Madeline and the Gypsies" is garnering much buzz around town. With two shows left, it features some of the area's best young talent, including 9-year-old Marissa Lee, who plays the lead role of the storybook character Madeline.

"My wife and I attended the opening night of 'Madeline' on (May 6) and were thoroughly entertained," said Rick Everson, who attended with his wife, Marci. "It would be great if both shows next weekend are sold out."

The musical follows the life of Madeline, who is cared for by Miss Clavel, who also takes care of the other girls at the school there. The musical is based on the popular storybook series, written by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian-born author who became an American. The original stories consisted of six books, and have been made into plays, cartoons and movies in the 70 years-plus since they were first written.

As the storybooks go, "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ... the smallest one was Madeline."

In the "Gypsies" tale, "Next door lives Pepito, the son of the Spanish ambassador, and one day he invites Madeline and her friends to a gypsy carnival. Come and see what happens."

The musical will be performed two more times, 7 p.m. May 13 and 14, at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy, 12340 Old Glenn Highway, Suite 200.

Tickets are $7 to 14. Visit www.akfinearts.org for more details.



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.