Maurer Productions Returns to Kelsey Theatre
With New "Pooh" Musical Aug. 15-24


The ever-lovable Pooh Bear returns to the Hundred Acre Wood at MCCC's Kelsey Theatre. Maurer Productions Onstage presents an original new musical, "A Winnie-the-Pooh Birthday Tail," Friday, August 15 at 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, August 16, 17, 23, and 24 at 2 and 4 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer's West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Based on the timeless tales of A.A. Milne, the musical follows the adventures of Christopher Robin and the colorful inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood - Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo and more - as they prepare for Eeyore's birthday party. Will they find his missing tail in time?

In Maurer Productions' unique and vivid adaptation, all of the characters, with the exception of Christopher Robin, are stage-size, hand-crafted puppets. The puppetry is presented in the Japanese style of Bunraku. According to director Diana Gilman Maurer, "The puppeteers are not hidden behind walls or under the floor. They appear on stage with their puppet. This creates a hybrid performance that blends the actors' expressions with their puppet characters."

This year's show features three new puppets -- Tigger, Baby Roo, and Bunny. "The biggest challenge is making Tigger," said puppet designer John Maurer. "He will be a human arm puppet like Kanga, and will have to take a lot of abuse as one of the most energetic characters in the show."

Starring in "Winnie the Pooh" are Thomas Martella as Christopher Robin and Toni Campbell as Winnie the Pooh. Appearing as Pooh's companions in the Hundred Acre Wood are: Jake Bazel as Tigger, Marty Berrien as Rabbit, Jesse Dubin as Eeyore, David Miller as Owl, and Nicole Spadafino as Piglet. Kanga is a two-person puppet played by Rosie Karlin and her daughter Mollie. Also featured are siblings Stacy Maurer as Sunny Bunny, Hunter Maurer as Funny Bunny and Amanda Maurer as Honey Bunny. The production team includes director/producer Diana Gilman Maurer, musical director Buzz Herman, choreographer Jane Coult and stage manager Jeff Cantor.

Tickets are $8 for children and seniors, and $10 for adults. Free parking is available next to the theatre. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request.

For information about the 2008-09 season at Kelsey, click here or call the Box Office for a brochure.

For more Kelsey information, visit:

Marty Berrien is featured as Rabbit,
Toni Campbell is Winnie the Pooh
and Nicole Spadifino is Piglet.

Thomas Martella is Christopher Robin.
Marty Berrien is Rabbit.
Molly Karlin, left, with mom Rosie
as Kanga.
David Miller is featured as Owl.

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