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Lee's Summit High School's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Selected Reviews

Alec Heriford
Raymore Peculiar High School

Submitted for publication to KC Star Online


What happens when two curious kids convince their dad to buy a car that can fly? Magic! This wonderful and enchanting production brings big dances, incredible vocals, and an exciting adventure to the stage. Follow the journey of Jeremy and Jemima, as Lee's Summit High School presents CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.

Based on the 1968 film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang follows the magical tale of Jeremy and Jemima and their inventor of a dad Caractacus Potts. Through their exciting adventures with a flying car they meet Truly Scrumptious, who falls in love and causes even more trouble! The show premiered on the West End in 2002, and on Broadway in 2005.

Leading the talented cast is Jace Vendelin playing the role of Caractacus Potts. Vendelin is a fantastic performer. He has a fantastic voice, filling the room with perfect pitch and a wide range. Vendelin is an expert at bringing the character to life on stage. His big facial expressions and natural body movement characterizes him as a perfect Potts. Not to mention his dance abilities are additionally superb. Vendelin's excellent characterization combined with his beautiful voice and impressive dance moves allows him to succeed impressively on stage at Caractacus Potts.

Another unforgettable performance is Avery Beavers as Truly Scrumptious. Beavers is a natural performer. Her talents stretch across all areas of performing. Beavers' voice is phenomenal. Her impressive range and beautiful tone is especially showcased in L"ovely, Lonely Man." Beavers is also a very talented dancer. Her precise skill and impressive body control makes her eye catching on stage. Finally, her character work is very professional. Beavers' defined voice and stage business gives life to the character of Truly Scrumptious. Beavers truly makes a wonderful Truly.

A fantastic performance that was smaller yet still filled with many laughs are those of Tristan Pettorss as Boris and Sid Ciafullo as Goran as the "Spies." These two have outstanding chemistry on stage. Pettorss and Ciafullo each create hilarious renditions of idiotic spies. Their comedic timing is in sync and their over the top reactions are priceless. Tristan and Sid give the audience a plethora of laughs with their hilarious portrayal of Boris and Goran.

While this show has plenty of success on stage, it's professional and precise work backstage is one of the greatest highlights of this production. The lighting by Angel Brock and Corina Sisk is enchanting. Their beautiful use of blue in the back along with spotlights on stage is mesmerizing. Brock and Sisk's excellent work in lighting gives magic to the characters on stage and the entire set. Another great technical element is the sound by Fiona Martin, Makayla Holmberg and Cheyanne Kennedy. Their excellent quality and perfect timing gave energy to the plot. Martin, Holmberg, and Kennedy's superb work creates a magnificent show.

Cars are flying, love is spreading, and laughs are abundant in this outstanding performance. Through magical technical elements along with superb on stage performances, Lee's Summit High School produces and exceptional and hilarious CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.

Sydney Heriford
Raymore Peculiar High School

Submitted for publication to The Pitch


A magical musical filled with comical characters, spirited songs, and lively dancing, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG brings adventure to the stage. Bringing the magic to life, Lee's Summit High School amazes audiences with their talented cast and impressive technical elements.

Based on the beloved 1968 film, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG follows Caractacus Potts, an eccentric inventor, and his two children as they discover the wonders of a magical car but run into trouble when Baron Bomburst wishes to steal the car for himself. CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG made its debut as a musical in London in 2002, and it has been performed across the world since. This timeless musical is filled with entertaining songs and energetic dancing for a night full of fun.

Leading the cast, Jace Vendelin shines as the eccentric Caractacus Potts. Vendelin captures Potts' optimism and confidence by maintaining an energetic presence throughout the performance, and his impeccable vocal control amazes the audience. Alongside Vendelin, Avery Beavers depicts Truly Scrumptious's kind demeanor with enthusiasm as she prances and twirls across the stage. Her melodramatic facial expressions and gesticulation brings back the old-timey style of the 1968 movie.

Dakotah Decker captures Jemima Potts's youthful spirit with her effortless delivery of her lines and her innocent facial expressions. Her carefree body language and optimistic tone perfectly depicts Jemima's naivety. Katelyn Johnson brings humor to the stage with her hilarious portrayal of Baroness Bomburst. Her priceless facial expressions perfectly capture the Baroness's ridiculousness, and her incredible vocal control impresses the audience. The ensemble adds to the magic with their constant engagement in each scene and their solid delivery of the complicated choreography.

Fiona Martin, Makayla Holmberg, and Cheyanne Kennedy ensure the magic of the show can be heard by controlling the cast's microphones, and their perfectly timed sound cues add to the humor. The orchestra brings the audience into the whimsical world of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG with their effortless performance of numerous intricate songs. Abbey Lewis, Bailey Lagan, and Ellie Wuebker design many intricate props that depict the eccentricities of Caractacus Potts while accurately portraying the time period. While the show requires many scene changes, Holden Hood-Forester, Ethan Brigham, Damien Daise, Mason Simpson, Nickolas Simpson, and Dylan Springer work together to smoothly transition from scene to scene, effectively allowing the show's magic to continue without interruption.

With the advanced choreography, there are some struggles with the execution, but the performers quickly correct their mistakes and continue with the dances. Although there are a few stumbles in the delivery of lines, the actors continue on without missing a beat. These small errors do not distract from the overall performance and the cast does a marvelous job of continuing without hesitation.

Lee's Summit High School's energetic cast combined with their clear sound, talented orchestra, detailed props, and efficient stage managers astonish audiences. Their performance whisks audiences away to a whimsical world of wonder with their extraordinary production of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.


Addison Hansen
Raymore Peculiar High School

Submitted for publication to Lee's Summit Tribune


A flying car, musical candy, a child resenting Baroness, and bright, flashy costumes everywhere you look. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, Lee's Summit High School has brought this truly scrumptious dream to life with their production of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.

This whimsical musical is set in England and illustrates an inventor, Caractacus Potts, and his two children, Jemima and Jeremy Potts, who scrounge up enough money to buy a previously prosperous car named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that had won the 1910 England Grand Prix. The inventor fixes it up and discovers that the car has amazing abilities such as flying, floating, and only activates when you say "Please!". The family then goes on a mission to save a captured loved one and the children of Vulgaria, with the love interest, Truly Scrumptious.

This production of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG was colorful and energetic. The addition of the orchestra to provide the accompaniment for the show is a golden aspect, despite some instruments being out of tune. The ensemble gives 110% effort throughout the whole performance and executed the complex dancing with accuracy. Although some lines got lost in the multitude of different accents, the dialogue and blocking of the show seem natural and flows well with the progression of the scene. The choreography is very impressive due to its complexity and style, while also fitting the mood of the musical.

Caractacus Potts, played by Jace Vendelin, is an inventor who is raising his two kids on his own, and does his best to support them by creating and selling inventions, such as the "Hair Cutting Machine' and "Toot Sweets". Vendelin communicates his role as a loving father to a tee. Also, Vendelin is constantly in character, smiling and dedicated, even through his solos and extensive dances.

Truly Scrumptious, played by Avery Beavers, is the playful love interest who finds herself caring immensely for Caractacus and his family. Beavers' voice during her complex solos is very pleasant and supported, and seems evident that she has been very well trained. Beavers also commits to her charismatic character by showing the thoughts going through her character's mind and expressing emotions even when she isn't the center of focus during the scene.

The dynamic duo of the secret spies (Tristan Pettorss and Sid Ciafullo) are hired by the Baron to acquire Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from Caractacus. Tristan and Sid captivate the audience through silly humor and slapstick comedy. The duet "Act English" is chock full of humorous quips and funny stereotypes, and is performed by the two with on point comedic timing and plenty of charisma. Tristan and Sid really know how to fill up the audience with laughter.

The set of the production changed often as the scenes moved around quite a bit. The setup for each scene was fast and effective, assisting the illusion that each scene was truly in a different place. The lighting of the show is a key component to immerse the audience into the show, and Lee's Summit High School created the light cues to accomplish just that. Also, there are many times in the show where the track has to play at the same time an actor makes an action. For example, whenever an actor blows into the Toot Sweets, the track plays a flute sound, and those were always right on cue. The makeup and costumes for the ensemble members is very effective in portraying each individual group. The factory workers are dressed in bright colors that contrast yet complement each other, while on the other hand the children of Vulgaria wear makeup that shows that they are hungry and neglected.

Lee's Summit High School's production of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG thrives off of light, laughs, licorice, and love, and tugs at the heart showing the true importance of teamwork and dedication.

About the Author

Rackers, Brad

Rackers, Brad

Chair - FY20 Season


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