Remember when Hollywood used to brag of having "a cast of thousands," in previews? Well, for the Wild Horse Theater's production of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," there's a cast of 80.
That's a pretty good turnout for kids aged 3-16. Pros they may not be, but seeing them in action restores one's faith in children and theater.
Yes, this is a children's version of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia book series, but it is not simplified. It is faithful to Lewis' intent and meaning, and it is a rewarding story of good versus evil, with the good Lion King Aslan regaining his magical kingdom.
Set in the mythical Narnia and London, the play recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the White Witch and the adventures of four children who travel from an old wardrobe into Narnia.
There are chases, duels and escapes as the witch is determined to keep sway of Narnia. All the memorable episodes from the story are here: The temptation of Edmund by the witch, the slaying of the evil wolf by Peter, the witnessing of Aslan's resurrection by Susan and Lucy, the crowing of the four new rulers of Narnia.
The supporting characters are the unicorn, the centaur and other forest animals, along with Father Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and Tumnus the Faun.
Carol Scott is the general marshaling around these 80 young actors, performing in two casts.
Director Scott offers some comments:
"Prepare to be enchanted, thrilled, amazed and even to shed a few tears when you experience the magic of Narnia with 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.'"
"It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold more than 100 million copies. This enchanting story is brought to life by Wild Horse Children's Theater.
"Four children accidentally enter the land or Narnia by climbing through a magic wardrobe. This strange place is ruled by an evil witch with a heart of ice, who 'makes it always winter and never Christmas.'
"Although they seem unlikely heroes, the children are destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy by defeating the witch, returning the lion king Aslan to his throne, and bringing sunshine and peace to Narnia. Our cast of young actors do an excellent job of bringing the myth to life and are clearly loving every moment on stage.
"This is the second season for Wild Horse, which continues to bring outstanding educational and entertaining children's theater to family audiences in our community. The response from the community from auditions to ticket sales been overwhelming.
"This was the first time we have had to put a cap on the amount of children who could audition. We had to cut off audition slots at 125.
"We have a policy of not turning away any child who auditions, and it is becoming a matter of just how many actors can we actually put on stage and continue to provide quality theater. We are limited by the size of our theater space."
• Contact Sam Bauman at email@example.com or 881-1236.
If You Go
What: Wild Horse Children's Theater's production of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
Where: The Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, 813 N. Carson St.
When: 7 p.m. Friday and April 25, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday and April 26, 4 p.m. Sunday and April 27.
Tickets: $8 for adults, $5 for ages 3-18 and free for those 2 and under who do not occupy a seat.
Contact: 887-0438 or see www.wildhorsetheater.com