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Morning Sun
  • Storied Prehistory

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  • Audiences shouldn’t expect “The Dinosaur Musical” to offer the most accurate paleontological information on those magnificent creatures. For example, there is absolutely no evidence in the fossil record to indicate that dinosaurs invented spaghetti. But it’s still worth turning out for the Pittsburg State University Theatre’s production of “The Dinosaur Musical,” which continues at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, along with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, all in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. Director Gil Cooper said that the musical comedy is suitable for dinosaurs of all ages, from hatchlings to senior citizens. “It’s silly, but in a way that adults will enjoy,” added Doug Bennett, set and lighting designer who created, with help from student workers, a 40-foot volcano that plays a decisive part in the resolution of the story. Lisa Quinteros designed the dino costumes, and has outdone even herself in creating tyrannosaurs, ankylosaurs, stegosaurs and a pterosaur in aviator gear. The story is set 65 million years ago, when a giant meteor collides with earth and the dinos are threatened with extinction. However, a number of them survive, thanks to wise Tyrannosaurus Rex King Marcus, played by Jacob Hacker. There is one place where vegetation still thrives, and King Marcus comes up with the Treaty of Meat, which calls for the carnivorous dinos to learn to love corn on the cob and salad. There is one loop hole — it’s allowed to eat the carcasses of those who die from natural causes. All goes well for 12 years, until King Marcus dies and his 13-year-old son takes over. Matt Pommier is pitch perfect as new King Quincy, a sweet but slightly dim lad who’d really rather draw flowers than rule. The bloodthirsty Mr. Glut, played by Austin VanBecelaere, and Mrs. Gapp, played by Jesse Gregory, manipulate Quincy into trashing the Treaty of Meat and the tyrannosaurs are on the hunt again. Well, not all of them. Noble Reginald, played by Logan Qualls, is a leader of the resistance, who leads a group of dinos who want the Treaty of Meat to continue in effect. When Mr. Glut and Mrs. Gapp find out about this, they determine to hunt Reginald down, using a troodon as a bloodhound. Which is inaccurate, of course, because everybody knows that tyrannosaurs actually had a much better sense of smell than troodons. But Megan Reed, still does a great job as Gertrude, the troodon. Then there’s Carlotta, the “curvy Cretaceous creature of song,” played by Breezi Hancock. She’s a parasaurolophus, a herbivorous dinosaur, and the mother of a 13-year-old daughter, played by Bobbi Jo Smith. She flees the rampaging tyrannosaurs and encounters Reginald, who also has a 13-year-old girl, played by Lindsey Lockhart. The two teens become best friends and start scheming about how to get Reginald and Carlotta to fall in love and get married. That, and whether or not Quincy and the rest of the tyrannosaurs will literally eat up the resistance. Here’s where the volano has it’s moment, folks. The capable cast also includes Jacob Titus as Armando, the heroic pterosaur; James Ryals as Swifty Levine, the world’s funniest triceratops comedian; Natalie Black as Genevieve, a pachycephalosaurus; and Taylor Patterson-Elliott as Mama Lucredzia, the corythosaurus who supposedly invented spaghetti. The dinosaur chorus is composed of Morgan Beach as an ankylosaurus; Magali Chase as a myosaurus; Evyline Kang’eri as a tyrannosaur; Rashid Fielder-Bey as a very spry old stegosaurus; and Marisa Hunn and Megan Reed as velociraptors. Accompanying the singers are Megan Gabehart on reeds, Daniel Warlop and Dr. Kenny Mcdougle on percussion and Barbara York on piano, under the direction of Barbara York. Tickets are $11 for the general public and $7 for persons under 17 or over 65. PSU students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with a valid PSU photo ID. Tickets are available at the PSU Ticket Office, 620-235-4796, or at the door.

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