051117 Theater: Tunes from toons get new faces
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Theater: Tunes from toons get new faces

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

There are no Looney Tunes, but there are plenty of merry melodies in the musical revue that opens this week at the Strand Theater.

“AniMagic: Songs from the World of Animation” pulls together songs from “Song of the South” (Disney, 1946) to “Schoolhouse Rock” (ABC, 1973) to “Jetsons: The Movie” (Hanna-Barbera, 1990). “We wanted something kids like,” said Bob Gauss, who compiled and directs the show with Gary Life. They collaborated last season on a Stephen Sondheim review. Life worked at Disney World as a singing actor for many years and takes the stage for a couple of numbers in “AniMagic.”

The show’s appeal to kids began at the casting call. The cast of more than a dozen performers includes several kids. “When we did auditions, people just flocked here,” Gauss said. “A lot of young kids showed up who can sing.”

“The Siamese Cat” from “The Lady and the Tramp” (Disney, 1955) will be sung by twins: Hannah and Rachel Dozier. Cheley Elliott, a senior at Georgetown High, sings “Somewhere Out There” from “An American Tail” (Universal, 1986).

That wasn’t what he expected, but he and Life tailored the song list to suit the cast. “The kids know them more than I do,” Gauss added.

He and Life were also surprised to find they weren’t able to find the music for some tunes.

The songs are ingrained in popular culture, but for those who can’t quite place them, Gauss has worked a little animagic of his own. There is a Magic Mirror (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Disney, 1937) on stage that will identify where each song comes from.

If you go

What: “AniMagic: Songs from the World of Animation,” a Swamp Fox Players production.

When: May 12-13, 18-20 and 26-27 at 8 p.m. May 21 and 28 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Strand Theater, 710 Front St., Georgetown.

How much: $20. Call 843-527-2924 for tickets.

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