Any kid who has pined for a pet of their own will identify with main character Buzz in the Oregon Children’s Theatre’s production of Fly Guy. I recently saw the new show at the Newmark Theatre with my 4-year-old daughter, Adela. Buzz, played by 14-year-old Clayton Lukens, meets up with an insect looking for adventure (Fly Guy played by Gerrin Mitchell) and the two become best buddies – even though many adults just don’t understand the duo’s friendship. Adela definitely rooted for Buzz and Fly Guy — even though in real life she usually dislikes flies buzzing too close to her.
I was impressed by the seemingly simple staging that transformed into multiple locations: a park, Buzz’s house, a school cafeteria, a bus stop and the unfortunate field trip destination — a fly swatter factory. Also remarkable — many of the talented kids and grown-ups in the cast played multiples roles in the 60-minute show.
Those cast members were kept busy singing and dancing throughout the show. Adela’s favorite scene was when Fly Guy met Fly Girl and the two had a bit of a dance off. The 60-minute length is perfect for the recommended age group — 4 and older. Adela covered her eyes a few times when Fly Guy and Fly Girl were being chased around the fly-swatter factory, but it was more of a tense than scary situation. And, of course, the heroes made it out just fine. A few kids around us started to get antsy toward the end of the play, but Adela was captivated, soaking it all in.
When we made it to the cast autograph line, I almost gave up, afraid we’d be there for an hour. But the line moved very quickly. And once we got to the table where the cast signed our program, the lovely actors had great interactions with Adela. She was thrilled with all the autographs, proudly showing them off to her dad and grandparents later in the day. Going to Oregon Children’s Theatre’s production of Fly Guy was a wonderful morning outing that Adela will be talking about for weeks.