A classic comes to New Horizons Theater

Published 11:27 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

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The New Horizons Community Theatre is putting a twist on the beloved classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This performance features actors, singers, and dancers from ages 6 to 16, thus the show is called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. 

While the Theater puts on shows with and for all age groups, this performance is put on by their young performers. Shows will run from every night Feb. 8 to 10, with one matinee show that Saturday. 

Tickets can be bought at the door or on the theater’s website, nhct.org. Because New Horizons is a community theater, anyone can get involved.

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“what’s really neat about the community aspect of it is everybody who works on these shows, we’re all volunteers,” said Noelle Reed, Director of the show. 

Reed is a drama club instructor and owner of a music studio in LaGrange. She said she has done many of the Jr. Broadway productions through her work and is excited to do one in West Point.   

Alongside Reed is a cast of around 25 kids. High school and college students are helping with choreography, stage management, and music. All of the people involved are volunteers, including the parents and family of cast and crew members.

“We just all volunteer our time because we love doing it. On the weekends the parents come in and they’ve been building the sets, they’ve been helping with costumes, they’ve been building the props,” Reed said. 

The 1968 musical follows the inventor, Caractacus Potts and his children as they restore an old race car. When the family finds out the car is magic, having the ability to fly, they must contend with the evil Baron Bomburst.

The Jr. in the title of the stage adaptation means the version performed is tailored to child performers. The musicals tend to have different voice ranges and are a little shorter than the original, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr runs about 90 minutes. 

The theater has been an institution in West Point since 1986 when a group calling themselves “Painted Stripes Players” began putting on shows. Today, over 3000 people, many of them children, have participated in performances in what is now called the New Horizon Theater. The community theatre, located on 8th St in Downtown West Point, has also grown to now seat 218 people. 

“I feel like it’s a story that it’s really good for all ages. That everybody can come to the show and they could find something in it that’s just for them. And they’re gonna laugh a lot,” Reed said.