“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jr.” flies into audiences hearts
Posted on 06/05/2019
Picture of  GVMS "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jr." program cover


Gainesville Middle School’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jr.” tells the story of the Potts family and their incredible flying car.

At the top of the show, Caractacus Potts (Alec Shaughnessy), is seen restoring an old race car with the help of his children Jeremy (Alex Fulda) and Jemima (Kaitlyn Couvillon). Soon, the Potts family discovers that their beat-up, old race car is anything but ordinary, it can fly.
Upon hearing of such a car, the maniacal Baron (Jihad McMillan) and Baroness (Danielle Serrano-Bremer) decide that they must have it or its inventor for themselves. The Baron sends henchmen Goran (Brad Sawyers) and Boris (Noah Purvin) for the car’s inventor. Ultimately, the henchmen mistakenly kidnap Grandpa Potts (Derrick Kilmer).

In an effort to save Grandpa, Caractacus, Jeremy, and Jemima, with help from Truly Scrumptious (Mackenzie Moore), work together to outwit the dastardly Baron and Baroness and their villainous aide, the Child Catcher (Laurel Phipps).

The fun and heartwarming production featured a list of delightful and hilarious characters. From the six actors (Patrick Anderson, Mariaum Basaran, Emma Garrison, Zachary Hamacher, Avery Eisenhower, and Zohal Sanie) who made up Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s wheels, lights, and wings, to the Toymaker (Collin Gobin) and Junkman (Johnathan Bunch), each character lit up the stage. The soldiers, chefs, townspeople, and hidden children all helped bring the amazing story of a family and their flying car to life.

The Gainesville production was led by musical directors, and choral directors, Xochilt Melendez and Rita Yarber, with Drama Teacher Peggy Hyde, and Producer Stacey Pannebecker.

What stood out in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jr.”?

The standout of this Gainesville production was the dedication of the young actors to their accents and vocal work. They were clear, easy to understand, and keen to their individual characters’ personality. It is rare to see actors who commit to their characters as fully as these middle school students did. The vocals in the songs were also incredibly strong, making for a satisfying experience for the audience.