Chitty Chitty Bang Bang premieres on Friday, May 4th and continues till May 13th.
As we prepare for our presentation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we at Starlight wanted to showcase all the families who are included in the show.
Nine families are involved in the cast and crew and are a great example of the good family fun that we love to have at Starlight Community Theater.
Ashlock Family (Quinlyn and Dan)
The Ashlock family relocated to Phoenix in 2006 from Baltimore, Maryland and now live in Downtown Phoenix. Quinlynn is a Senior at the Arizona School for the Arts and will attending ASU in the Fall and Dan works at ASU Tempe.
They love to do shows together and have performed at Starlight and Desert Stages in Scottsdale. When they are not performing, they love to spend time with their many pets - 2 dogs, 1 cat, 6 fish and 1 turtle. They also love to watch their favorite show - American Idol.
When asked why Valley residents should see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they told us that the costumes are amazing, it’s a family-friendly plot, has funny villains, and lollipops that whistle!
Graca Family: (Thomas, Christian, Thomas F, and Savoy)
Thomas is originally from Chicago but has been in Arizona since 1965 and the rest of the Graca Clan are Arizona natives. The family has been involved in Starlight since 2006 and the children, have been in multiple shows at Starlight as well as Spotlight Youth Theater and Brelby Theater. In addition, all four worked on and acted in shows at at Creative Stages Youth Theater.
The Graca family are big lovers of the theater and even play improv games at dinner. In their spare time, they love to cruise to exotic places. This Summer, they will visiting Jamaica!
In their eyes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a family-friendly classic that is fun. It's full of heartwarming and humorous moments and songs that are so toe tapping that anyone could sing along.
The Graca family are true veterans at Starlight Community Theater and the theater community in general. Their countless hours to our theater has helped shape it into a family-friendly theater for all Valley residents to enjoy.
Hager Family (David, Leigh, Gabriel and Wren)
Originally from Illinois, The United States Air Force brought the Hager family to Arizona and it has been their home for the last nine years. Before coming to Starlight, they did theater in Illinois and California.
As a family, this is their fourth show at Starlight. Individually, Gabriel has done three other productions, and Leigh has done three as well.
Some fun facts about the Hager family:
David and Leigh both speak Arabic
Gabriel plays trumpet and hockey
Wren was the youngest performer in their family at 10 months old.
When asked why audiences should see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Gabriel, Leigh and David all gave us their answers:
Gabriel: It is being done in a different style (Steampunk) and I think it will be interesting to see how we are doing that.
Leigh: I think having so many families in the cast and crew has really hit home for the themes of the show. The power of loving families and teamwork are evident in the design and performances. It has been a magical experience.
David: I like the music. The vocals are great, and the melodies are catchy.
Johnston Family: (Michelle and Caden)
The Johnston family lives up north in Anthem and have been involved in Starlight shows for several years. Caden started doing theater when he moved in with his Aunt and Uncle while his mom was deployed to Afghanistan.
When his mom returned and saw how much he loved it: she sold her home in Gilbert to move to Anthem. Caden has been on-stage with Starlight since they were in Anthem and then his mom joined in by helping with set-design.
Caden has been in countless shows and this is Michelle’s third appearance on stage AND her first musical.
The Johnston family have say that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a show larger than life and is filled with joy, laughter and heart.
From Peoria, Arizona, the Riddle Family is a family of 7. There is Spencer, Heather and their 5 children (Sariah, El, Jeremiah, Rebekah and Hannah). In addition, they also have EIGHT pets (2 dogs, 2 fish and 4 tortoises.
In their spare time, they love to travel, go camping and watching movies as a family.
The oldest daughter, Sariah, has done 10 others shows at Starlight and Heather has done one.
When asked why people people should come and see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they said that “the cast and crew have worked hard on putting together this show and it is a great family show.”
Rippenkroeger Family: (Mike, Nena and Will)
The Rippenkroeger Family have been residents of Arizona for nine years. The youngest son, Will, has done theater all around the Valley. He started in 2010 and since then, has had the opportunity to perform at Spotlight Youth Theater, Glendale Community College and Arizona Broadway Theater.
Back in 2014, three of the family members - Nina, Mike and Will - all acted together in Starlight's presentation of Curtains. All three of them were killed off.
A fun fact about the family is that Mike has also been responsible for countless sets at Starlight Community theater.
As veterans at Starlight, they have worked hard over the years to bring so many shows to life and we thank them for that hard work.
Scelzo Family (Mackenzie and Shayden)
The Scelzo Family are natives to Arizona and informed us that Chitty Chitty Bang is their first theater production ever. We at Starlight feel extremely honored to introduce the world of theater to this great family.
A fun fact about the family is that they have 4 animals - a cat, dog, hamster and bird.
When asked why people should see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they told us “because it is fun, light hearted and good family fun.”
Sivey Family: (Josh, Kim, Ada and Jay)
Josh and Kim are originally from Michigan but moved to Phoenix about 13 years ago. Their kiddos, Ada (13) and Jay (9) have been in several Starlight shows, but Mom and Dad are new to theater.
Both Josh and Kim met on Michigan State University fencing team.
This is the first show they have all done together. A year ago, Kim, Ada and Jay were in Cheaper by the Dozen, and before that, the kids enjoyed participating in over 5 shows.
Some fun facts about the family is that they homeschool and love camping at resorts.
For them, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has everything! It’s full of fun music, lots of dancing, beautiful sets and costumes, excitement, romance and a happy-ever after.
Tejera Family: (Rick, Susan and Lindsay)
Both Rick and Susan are from Long Island, New York while their Daughter, Lindsay, was born in Glendale, Arizona in 1995. Their family has participated in shows at Spotlight Youth Theater, Creative Stages and of course, Starlight Community Theater.
They started doing shows at Starlight in 2011 with Bye Bye Birdie and since then, have been involved in at least 20 Starlight productions.
Some fun facts about each family member:
Susan - 10th generation America, owns over 50 musical DVD’s.
Rick - When not behind/or front of stage, enjoys astronomy and ham radio.
Lindsay - Enjoys all form of dance, (teaching and performing) and Disney.
In regards to why people should see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they said, “Have you seen a car fly or float? Theater magic can happen. All you need is imagination.”
For more information about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Starlight Community Theater, please visit http://www.starlightcommunitytheater.com
Friday (5/4/18, 5/11/18) & Saturday (5/5/18, 5/12/18) at 7 p.m.
Saturday (5/5/18, 5/12/18) & Sunday (5/6/18, 5/13/18) at 2 p.m.
1611 W Whispering Wind Dr. Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85085
$15 at admission.