Falcon Players bring Tuck Everlasting to stage

Demanding the water, the Man in the Yellow Suit (junior Oliver Stratton) holds Winnie (junior Faith Roberts) at gun point. The musical took place March 7-9.
Demanding the water, the Man in the Yellow Suit (junior Oliver Stratton) holds Winnie (junior Faith Roberts) at gun point. The musical took place March 7-9.
Skylar Holtgrewe
As he climbs to the top of a tree, Jesse Tuck (sophomore Jackson Schertzer) shows Winnie Foster (junior Faith Roberts) his love for adventure with “Top of the World.” (Raghed Hadi)

Bringing a children’s classic to stage, the Falcon Players presented their spring musical Tuck Everlasting from March 7-9.

The story follows lively 11-year-old Winnie Foster (junior Faith Roberts) as she runs away from her grieving family to see the traveling fair. She stumbles along Jesse Tuck (sophomore Jackson Schertzer) in the forest her family owns, where Schertzer shows off his vocal talents with “Top of the World.” This interaction opens Winnie up to the eclectic, colorful world of the Tucks– including Jesse’s mother Mae (junior Shekinah Annin), father Angus (senior Zach Hardee) and brother Miles (junior Michael Stimpson)– as well as their magical secret: their family never dies. When their secret is discovered, the family kidnaps Winnie, and brings her back to their home. Inside the Tuck’s attic, Mae’s nostalgic ballad “My Most Beautiful Day” showcases the family’s backstory and Annin’s stellar voice in one of the show’s most impressive numbers.

That night, Jesse takes Winnie to see the fair with the vibrant group number “Partner In Crime.” In Winnie, Jesse sees a new opportunity for a friend, and offers immortality to Winnie as well via water from a special spring through the song “Seventeen.” Through each of their songs, Schertzer and Roberts fully immerse the audience into the story with their incredible acting and singing abilities– in particular, Roberts perfectly captures Winnie’s childlike wonder and does an amazing job bringing the character to life. Winnie, however, is not the only one excited by Jesse’s proposition; the Man in the Yellow Suit (junior Oliver Stratton), a member of the fair, has been searching for everlasting life for years and overhears Jesse’s secret. Stratton’s character choices enhance the Man in the Yellow Suit’s flashy and nefarious personality, making him truly shine on stage.

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  • After his son Jesse (Schertzer) returns home, Angus Tuck (senior Zach Hardee) hugs him, asking to hear about his adventures away from home.

  • Spending time at the traveling fair, Jesse Tuck (Schertzer) and Winnier Foster (Roberts) sing about their new found friendship with “Partner in Crime.”

  • Teaching Winnie Foster (Roberts) how to fish, Angus Tuck (Hardee) relates the lake to the beauty of life with “The Wheel.”

  • While reflecting on the day of her engagement, Mae Tuck (junior Shekinah Annin) tells Winnie Foster (Roberts) about the fond memory with “My Most Beautiful Day.”

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In the second act, the Man in the Yellow Suit convinces Winnie’s desperate mother (sophomore Mary Donavon) and grandmother (junior Finnley Free) to sell him the woods in return for their child. On the other hand, the Tucks reveal that everlasting life isn’t always fun. Miles’ “Time” and Angus’ “The Wheel” make Winnie hesitate about drinking the water while also tugging on the heartstrings of the audience. The Tucks strike an incredible balance between the beauty of life and necessity of death with the strong, emotional harmonies of “Time (Reprise),” which translates the existential themes of the story and vocal talents of the cast perfectly.

On a lighter note, Constable Joe (senior Emily Heigham) and his son and deputy-in-training, Hugo (sophomore Lauren Laffleur) bring a lively and comedic touch to the show as they help the Fosters search for Winnie. The duo’s song “You Can’t Trust a Man” shows the pair’s chemistry as well as their suspicion of the Man in the Yellow Suit.

However, Constable Joe and Hugo aren’t able to catch him before he runs into Jesse in the woods. When the rest of the Tucks rush in, an intense scene ensues with the song “The Story of the Man in the Yellow Suit” where he holds Winnie at gunpoint, demanding the water, until Mae hits him over the head with a rifle and kills him. After the commotion, the Tucks part ways with Winnie, leaving her to grapple with the choice of living forever in the song “Everlasting.”

In the end, Winnie decides not to drink the water, realizing that life’s significance comes from its ephemerality. The rest of her life is played out through the moving dance number “The Story of Winnie Foster,” and the musical closes with the Tucks visiting her grave and reflecting on the life she was able to live. While the book was written to help children deal with grief, the production appealed to all age groups, tackling the heavy themes with a new perspective that leaves the audience with a sense of appreciation for their life. Paired with the impressive singing, dancing, and technical elements, Tuck Everlasting was an all-around incredible performance that is sure to stick with viewers for quite some time.

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