Volcano players jump aboard a big peach

Mitch Alaire, left, is Aunt Spiker, Brenda Metzger plays Aunt Sponge and Conor Clinton plays James in Volcano Theatre Company’s “James and the Giant Peach.”

Recent visitors to Volcano have reported a strange phenomenon in the bucolic Amador County town: a giant fruit appears to have risen over the Volcano Amphitheatre. Not to worry, the fuzz is for “James and the Giant Peach,” presented at the amphitheater by the Volcano Theatre Company through Aug. 3.

It took most of two months for a troupe of volunteers to secretly rehearse the classic Roald Dahl tale “James and the Giant Peach,” adapted by David Wood. The story finds James under the care of cruel aunts, where he discovers a potion that mysteriously grows the giant peach, which becomes his escape.

Led by “slightly eccentric, award-winning” director Marty Brifman, Conor Clinton plays the titular character in the expansive tale. Madison Stevens is the Grasshopper; Megan Lukasha plays Miss Spider; Brooke Dillian is the Centipede; Maeve Clinton appears as Lady Bug; Bailey Wilson is Earthworm; Mitch Alaire plays Aunt Spiker; and Brenda Metzger is Aunt Sponge. Victor Martinez plays too many roles to mention, and David Cohen performs “the Voice.”

“Master craftsman Gerry Elliot has built a set of unique proportions, and local award-winning artist Lindsay McCain has adorned it with pigments from a recipe known only to her,” the release said.

Music, dance, giant critter puppets, flying objects and fruit, audience participation and children invited on stage can make for a fun summer night.

“James and the Giant Peach” plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 3. The doors to the amphitheater open at 6:30 p.m. so patrons can enjoy picnics.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $16 for students at volcanotheatre.net or 419-0744.

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