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‘Madeline’ comes to the Smoot Theatre

PARKERSBURG — The Smoot Theatre will be presenting “Madeline and the Bad Hat” on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

The Smoot Theatre will present ArtsPower National Touring Theatre’s musical that captures the blithe yet touching spirit of Ludwig Bemelmans’ much loved Madeline series.

This amusing tale traces the adventures of a young Parisian girl who – despite starting off on the wrong foot with a mischievous new neighbor – eventually learns that first impressions aren’t everything.

The story focuses on the unbreakable bonds of friendship and family. Madeline is none too pleased when Pepito, the son of the Spanish ambassador, moves in next door. He seems insufferably arrogant and conceited. And worst of all, he’s cruel to animals.

Under the guidance of Miss Clavel, the caretaker of the girls at Madeline’s boarding school, Madeline learns not to judge a book by its cover. She discovers that Pepito’s father is rarely at home and that this new neighbor is misbehaving because he is desperate for attention.

Pepito and Madeline become friends after she resourcefully rescues him from danger, and consequently, Pepito and his father also grow closer. It turns out that an old-fashioned aristocratic gentleman can show great affection, and that Pepito isn’t such a bad hat after all.

Madeline is in that important ‘discovery’ phase of her life, when the types of challenges and conflicts she faces are important to resolve. The timeless charm of Bemelmans’ Madeline story is relevant to young children, who are forever seeking ways to handle such problems.

“Madeline and the Bad Hat” has been adapted for the stage by ArtsPower’s artistic director Greg Gunning, who also wrote the lyrics and directed the production. Composer/orchestrator Richard DeRosa created the original Broadway-style score.

Told with gentle humor, and featuring a beautiful musical score, this tale of enemies-become-friends will charm and entertain children and adults alike, the Smoot Theatre said.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids. Tickets are still available.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Smoot at 304-422-PLAY or by buying on line at Smoottheatre.com