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Review: Squirrel Girl Goes to College at Davenport Junior Theater

Are you looking for someplace to take the kids? Then, OMG, have I got the place for you! Three words: Davenport Junior Theatre.

DJT’s current production, Marvel Spotlight’s Squirrel Girl Goes to College, is a – maze – ing and SO much FUN! Not only that, it has a great message…or messages. Like girls RULE, education is cool, and honesty really is the BEST policy.

I was not aware that the Marvel franchise created this character and in researching this script I discovered that not only is this a real Marvel character, its creators tried to sell the idea to Disney as well as other studios to no avail. Big mistake on their part.

I am not familiar with the back story of Squirrel Girl, but apparently human girl Doreen Green has somehow been endowed with super powers and is somehow part squirrel and she fights the bad guys along with her real squirrel cohort, Tippy Toe. In this show Doreen, alias Squirrel Girl, has graduated from high school and is set to begin a college career at Empire State University with plans to major in computer science. However, she longs to identify more closely with her human side – which includes making human friends, especially the male variety – and wants to conceal her super squirrel persona in order to do so. Her squirrel entourage, led by Tippy Toe, follows along and acts as a Greek chorus – very authentically I might add. Squirrel Girl’s arch nemesis, Dr. Doom, also follows her as well to provide the conflict. This just scratches the story line which this incredible cast carries off with stunning alacrity, including lightning fast scene changes. These kids are truly awesome.

While there isn’t even one performer that doesn’t deserve accolades in this show there were a few stand outs. Squirrel Girl is portrayed by Kennan Baldridge. Her performance is charming and natural and she has a great stage presence. As Doreen’s crush, Tomás is Burkley Anderson, who nails the character. Amelia Griffin knocks it out of the park as the plucky Tippy Toe and Aila Koivisto is the perfect Dr. Doom.

Massive compliments go out to director, Lily Blouin. The campy staging ala the old Batman TV show is frenetic and results in mile-a-minute fun. Kudos also to scenic designer and painter, Becky Meissen for a beautiful set excellently executed. Overall, this show comes very close to perfection. All four of my grandkids gave it two thumbs up.

You know…the weather forecast for next weekend looks to be cold and rainy…perfect weather to occupy the munchkins at your house by taking in this thoroughly delightful show.

Marvel Spotlight’s Squirrel Girl Goes to College continues at the Mary Fluher Nighswander Theatre in Davenport ’s Annie Wittenmyer Complex, 2822 Eastern Avenue with two performances on Saturday, April 29 at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is free, but they will take donations.