Peter Rabbit Comes to Life on the Outer Banks
By Kip Tabb –
The magic and wonder of the classic Beatrix Potter children’s book, Peter Rabbit, comes to life at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Adapted from the book by local teacher and musician, John Buford, the one act operetta features John on piano, Alissa Sumerano as Peter Rabbit and Justin Heavner as Mr. McGregor.
The play is only about 30 minutes long and it would be hard to imagine a better production for children. Sumerano and Heavner seem perfect for their roles—very strong vocals, good dramatic presentation and what seems an instinctive ability to relate to the children in the audience.
The set design is bright and cheerful and does suggest a farmer’s garden. Heavner’s costume as Mr. MacGregor is spot on with a straw hat and bib overalls. Sumerano sports a rabbit hat and a jacket and shoes—which are important because just as in the Beatrix Potter book, Peter loses his jacket and shoes when he is chased by Mr. MacGregor.
There’s lots of audience participation, which makes the play even more fun, especially for the moms and dads in the audience. There is something magical about hearing 25 or 30 young voices trying to tell Mr. MacGregor that Peter is hiding behind the plants in the shed. Or the sea of hands that shoot into the air when Mr. MacGregor asks who would like to hold the markers for the beans, carrots and other vegetables.
The play will be performed every Wednesday and Thursday through August 15, although there will not be a performance on July 4. A ticket to the play is included in the admission price to the Gardens.
For more information about the Elizabethan Gardens call 252-473-3234 or visit elizabethangardens.org.