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‘Little Miss Sunshine’ takes off with fun van, great performances


How I loved the VW van – made by Doug Roby, Marc Forbes and Greta Burger for Las Cruces Community Theatre’s “Little Miss Sunshine: A Road Musical” – and everyone on board.

It made me think of the Flintstones (“courtesy of Fred’s two feet”) and a famous painter (van go).

It also made me appreciate more than ever that theater is family.

The cast includes father-daughter Brandon and Hyde Brown, mother-daughters Amanda, Kayla and Maya Bradford and father-daughter Jason and Sofia Wyatt, along with Marley Yerxa, whose parents, Brad and Audra, are part of the crew.

Five of the biggest and brightest stars are: Kayla Bradford, a wonderful, fabulous Olive (Little Miss Sunshine); Hyde Brown, a powerful Dwayne Hoover with a heart-touching solo; and the excellent Mean Girls and later the pageant contestants: Maya Bradford, Marley Yerxa and Sofia Wyatt.

And the adults aren’t bad either, including some of the best actors around. Grandpa (Brandon Brown) steals the show with “The Happiest Guy in the Van”; Amanda Bradford and Jason Wyatt have wonderful chemistry as Olive’s supportive but struggling parents; James Boberg (I am so happy to see him back on stage) as suicide-surviving and ultimately life-affirming Uncle Frank; Teddy Sanchez in three roles, including the hilarious pageant host; Francesca Peres-Wright (“Mary Poppins” returns!) – I loved the gum-popping pageant assistant and Miss California; and Steven Trujillo, who also plays multiple parts, including the very sexy Joshua.

Gold stars also go to director Janet Beatty-Payne and musical director Amanda Bradford, accompanist Ginny May and percussionist Kim Skaggs – and the van makers!

Remaining performances of “Little Miss Sunshine” are Fridays-Saturdays, Feb. 4-5 and 11-12; and Sundays, Feb. 6 and 13. Tickets are $10-$17. Visit www.lcctnm.org/little-miss-sunshine.

LCCT is located at 313 N. Main St.