An upcoming lighthearted musical comedy is about a community of friends and family trying to help other kids in the community, showing them they’re not alone, and trying to help them through their problems and issues.

This week, Stage 212 will offer the children’s theater production of “Dear Edwina, Jr.” the musical by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler.

“They’re doing very well,” said director Karly Swords of Ottawa about the children. “We have a talented group.”

“Dear Edwina, Jr.” follows the adventures of plucky advice-giver-extraordinaire Edwina Spoonapple, 13, as she directs the neighborhood kids in a series of buoyant production numbers for the latest edition of her weekly “Advice-a-Palooza.”

A children’s one-hour musical, it concerns a young girl who gives her neighborhood friends and family advice through singing in a musical show set in the town of Paw Paw, Mich.

“It’s another outlet for kids to be a part of the community and provide something for the community,” Swords said. “It helps bring awareness to the arts and the kids who really enjoy the arts have another option to do theater.”

Cast announced

Cast in “Dear Edwina, Jr.” are Nora Maier as Edwina Spoonapple, Jaiden Allen as Scott Kunkle, Alecia Hodscher as Becky Del Vecchio/Periwinkle, Ava Weatherford as Kelli Poshkonozovich/Carrie, Lainey Johns as Annie/Aphrodite Swenson, Andrew Beer as Bobby/Ziggy, Clara Vaske as Billie Vanderploonk/Abigail, Jaxon Schneider as Vladimir/Farmer Jerry, Emily Kmetz as Chef Ludmilla, Lilliana Cabrera as Susie/Lola, Ellissa Pelka as Mary Sue Betty Bob/Frank’s Ma, Dylan Kofoid as Frank, Adrian Silva as Cordell Vanderploonk, Revin Essi as Lars Vanderploonk, Gianna Mueller as Katie Spoonapple, Gage Richey as Harry/William, Mason Brannon as Johnny, Grace Wozek as the Queen of Boolah Boolah and Ursi Hauger as Sonoma.

Featured in the ensemble are Leah Carter, Michaela Flashing, Madelyn Gross, Samantha Hicks, Sarah Huettemann, Jordin Indra, Mryacle Johnson, Ariana Lesman, Caitlin Traub and Connor Treest.

Production staff includes director Karly Swords, producer Kathy Prosinski, music director Kevin Alleman, choreographer Mary Rose Prosinski and stage manager Zoe Piano.

If you’re going

“Dear Edwina, Jr.” will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15 and 16; at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; and at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18 at Stage 212, 700 First St., La Salle.

Tickets cost $10 each beginning this week, and may be purchased by visiting the box office Monday 4-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-noon or by calling (815) 224-3025 during the same hours. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.stage212.org.

“Dear Edwina, Jr.” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. Partial funding for this production was received from The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_LaSalle.

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