Those who plan to attend the Four Seasons Musical Theatre’s rendition of Dr. Dolittle shouldn’t expect any Eddie Murphy-esque antics, but that doesn’t mean the production won’t be filled with laughter for the whole family.
The show’s producers have taken a much more traditional approach, taking the story back to its roots.
“It’s the story of Dr. Dolittle’s life, how he became a veterinarian … and his pivotal, life-changing adventure with his various animal friends,” said producer Lara Oberg.
The community theatre group is run by volunteers and brings together acting talent from across Greater Victoria for rehearsals in View Royal.
Experienced actor Matt Mathiason will play the title role and Oberg said his portrayal of the famous vet will be enjoyable for kids and adults alike.
“He’s been involved in a number of theatre companies, both locally and in Saskatchewan,” she said, including a recent stint with the Vancouver Island Shakespeare Arts Society. “He’s very much a character actor. He’s quite funny.”
The story itself should also draw out laughter from both kids and adults, as there are plenty of jokes aimed at crossing all demographics.
“It’s very much a family production … it’s designed that way so that people of all ages can get something out of it,” Oberg said.
Puppets and other interactive set pieces will step in for live animals.
“We’ve had some people work very hard to put together some dogs and pigs that are very intricate puppet-type pieces, with ears that move and mouths that move,” Oberg said.
She noted that the live theatre show is able to explore “profound themes, including the importance of being true to oneself and not compromising on what’s right when faced with falseness and hypocrisy.”
Dr. Dolittle will be presented at the Isabelle Reader Theatre in Spencer middle school on Nov. 18, 19, 25 and 26. All shows are at 7 p.m., with matinee shows scheduled for 2 p.m. on the 19th and 26th.
Tickets are $20 for adults, seniors and students and $12 for kids 12 and under.
They can be purchased online at victoriaticket.ca or at Westside Instaprint in Langford. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door.