‘A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail’ celebrates its 21st VYT production

The 2015 cast of Winnie the Pooh at Valley Youth Theatre. (submitted photo)

The 2015 cast of Winnie the Pooh at Valley Youth Theatre. (submitted photo)

Everyone’s favorite “stuffed with fluff” character takes the Valley Youth Theatre stage Dec. 2 for his 21st production of “A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail.”

Whether it’s a yearly tradition or the first time, this Christmas classic’s 21st production is filled with amusing, colorful songs that accompany guests through the snow-covered Hundred Acre Woods sharing the holidays with Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Piglet and Winnie-the-Pooh.

Through the years A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail has boasted some serious talent including two award-winning actresses – Emma Stone, best known for such movies as The Help, Crazy Stupid Love and The Amazing Spider-Man, and Kimiko Glenn who currently stars in the television series Orange is the New Black, according to a press release.

The audience will experience some adorable up-and-coming entertainers this year too. Owen Watson, playing Christopher Robin, returns for his eighth Valley Youth Theatre production and second appearance in A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail; in 2014 he played a Woodland Creature/Beaver.

His other roles at VYT include: James in James and the Giant Peach, a Children’s Chorus member is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Edmond in the production of Narnia, a Lost Boy in Peter Pan and Max the Dog in Seussical, The Musical, the release stated.

Owen, who attends Arizona School for the Arts, is 12-years-old.

Olivia Fearey, Ethan Shanker and Jessica Sinodis. (submitted photo)

Olivia Fearey, Ethan Shanker and Jessica Sinodis. (submitted photo)

Winnie-the-Pooh is a showcase of talented, cute, fluffy, fun characters from around the Valley. Actors include: Sophie Vaughan (Scottsdale) making her VYT debut playing Winnie-the-Pooh; Olivia Fearey (Phoenix) returns for her second year to play Piglet; Riley Thornton (Gilbert) plays the lovable, old, grey donkey, Eeyore; Phoenix Cyphert (Glendale) plays the very practical Rabbit; Alexander Silver (Phoenix) plays crazy, bouncy Tigger; Ava Woods (Phoenix) plays the wise old Owl; Stephanie Larson (Phoenix) plays Kanga and Elliot Noah Thompson (age 7, Scottsdale) plays baby Roo.

Rounding out the cast of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail are many cute, imaginative, up-and-coming performers playing adorable, fuzzy Woodland characters that children will love, the release stated.

After each performance, patrons (big and little) can meet the cast in the lobby. Children can talk with all their favorite Hundred Acre Woods characters, get autographs and pose for pictures.

Returning to direct the production for her 11th time is VYT Alum Christine Merrow. Ms. Merrow has performed, choreographed and/or directed 28 productions with VYT including: Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail, Cinderella, and AIDA.

A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail is a musical based on A.A. Milne’s delightful children’s stories. Its book, music and lyrics are written by James W. Rodgers.

A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail, opens Dec. 2, and runs through Dec. 23. Show times vary according to the day and ticket prices are $18 not including fees.

For more information or to purchase tickets call the box office Monday–Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 602-252-8188 or visit www.vyt.com

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