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The Grunch proves the show must go on

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The Augusta Junior Players next show is “The Grunch.”

No, that’s not a typo. The junior thespian group will bring to the stage a play about a sixth-grade outcast named Rudy Grunch, who wants to do everything he can to keep the annual school musical from going on.

 But with nods to the Grinch for whom Grunch’s character is patterned, Rudy learns that maybe there’s more to what he’s trying to sabotage than it appears on the surface. Maybe the school play is more than sets and props.

“I like playing the villain,” said Raleigh Koutalidis, an Evans High School freshman, who plays the role of Rudy Grunch. “It’s fun for me.”

He’s not the only cast member who finds the show lots of fun to work on.

Ava Robinson plays Leslie, who is the theater diva.

“She’s over-dramatic and theatrical,” said Robinson, a seventh grader at SAIL. “She’s very stuck up.”

Koutalidis and Robinson both bring a hefty theatrical resume with them.

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Koutalidis has performed in show such as “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Disney’s Moana Jr.,” while Robinson has been in “Newsies,” which she said is her favorite, “Frog and Toad” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

While they have theater experience, some of the performers are making their stage debut, according to Amy Patton, who is directing the show.

“The Grunch” brings together about 35 children between the ages of 7 and 14 years old. They attend school in Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties, she said.

This is Patton’s first directorial role. She had previously been an assistant director for the children’s production of “Frog and Toad” several years ago and has performed in numerous Augusta Players’ productions.

She said she’s excited for the upcoming show and is enjoying her work with the children.

“I love being able to reach a new generation of performers,” she said.

“The Grunch” will be performed at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3 and at 3p p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Kroc Center Theater, 1834 Broad St. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children, students and senior citizens.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to augustaplayers.org.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the Features Editor for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected].

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