Latest Press Release - Junie B.

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!
October 8-30, 2011

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She’s back! Independent, impatient, sometimes impertinent, the outrageously funny Junie B. reminds us all that growing up is tough! Don’t miss the feisty, first grade phenomenon from one of the best-selling children’s book series of all time!

Junie B. Jones has been entertaining young readers since 1992, when she was first introduced by author Barbara Park. The sassy, spunky kindergartner was a hit, and 27 more books and innumerable awards followed. Now in first grade, the opinionated and outspoken Junie B. is a character that resonates with kids. She is working hard at deciphering her world, she makes mistakes, but always winds up with a valuable lesson. In this comedic stage adaptation, Junie B. learns that doing ‘the right thing’ is best, and that giving really IS better than receiving. Even when it’s hard. Really, REALLY hard…

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! is directed by well-known local actress and comedienne Melody Bridges. She was nominated for a Portland Area Musical Theatre Award for her hilarious portrayal of Miss Hannigan in NWCT’s 2010 production of Annie, and is delighted to be working with a talented cast of seasoned performers and up-and-coming funny people. “Some of my earliest memories are of me being funny,” says Melody. “As a child, I was very ‘Junie B’. I was little but I was loud. And I was opinionated. And bossy. Really bossy.”

Huh. Seems like not much has changed…

The cast stars Alexa Blaskowsky as Junie B. herself, and Drammy Award-winner Lucas Welsh (Snow White, Robin Hood) as her relentlessly patient first-grade teacher. Grandpa Miller and Mr. Toot are played by NWCT staple Erik James (in his 47th NWCT production!) and Erin Fried as both the enthusiastic PTA mom Elf Ellen and Junie B.’s plushie confidante Philip Johnny Bob. The cast is rounded out by a hilarious youth ensemble as favorite classmates from the books: Annika Cutler (Annie) as Junie B.’s first-grade nemesis May, Avish Menon as best friend Herb, Henry Martin (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) as the brainy Jose, Isabel Ayala as the spoiled Lucille, and Parker LaRiviere as the chronically phobic Sheldon.

The production features a bright, flexible set straight by Carl Hamilton, lights by Kristeen Crosser and costumes by NWCT Resident Costume Designer Shana Targosz and Presenting Show Sponsor Hanna Andersson. Sound design is by Rody Ortega, props are by kollodi, and scenic painting and set dressing are by NWCT Artist-in-Residence John Ellingson.

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! is supported by Presenting Media Sponsor The Oregonian. NWCT also grateful for the support of The Collins Foundation, the Regional Arts & Culture Council/Work for Art, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, The Oregon Arts Commission, The Oregon Cultural Trust, The Oregon Community Foundation, Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt, Free Geek, kink FM and Sera Architects. Nearly 4000 school children will say ‘Yay, yay, hooray! with Junie B. and her pals over 12 student matinees.

WHEN: October 8-30, 2011, Sat. & Sun. - Noon & 4pm

WHERE: NW Neighborhood Cultural Center • 1819 NW Everett Street, Portland

TICKETS: 503-222-4480 or NWCTS.ORG

AGE RANGE: Most enjoyed by ages 5 and up

PRICES: $18-22 adults • $13-18 youth (14 & under)

INFO: 503-222-4480 or NWCTS.ORG


Release Date: September 9, 2011

Kill Date: October 30, 2011

Media Contact: To set up interviews or discuss other possibilities for feature stories, please contact: Marri-Beth Serritella, Sucha Production, Inc. at 503-528-1370 or

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