Sadness and hope. These are a few of the feelings I experienced watching the story of Crash. Crash Coogan (played by Quinn Franzen) seems to have everything: great grades, cool friends, and a school record for most touchdowns in a football game. When Crash’s Grandfather (played by Todd Jefferson Moore) has a stroke, Crash starts to learn that winning isn’t always the most important thing.
Author Jerry Spinelli, who wrote the book that Crash is based on, has written a powerful story about the challenges that many kids face when growing up, such as friendship issues and family relationships. I could understand and relate to all these challenges. Playwright Y York has done an amazing job of adapting Crash to the stage, using engaging dialogue to tell the rich story of Spinelli’s book. Director Rita Giomi’s clear vision of this play comes across beautifully in her staging. She has also put together an excellent ensemble cast. Crash’s little sister, Abby, (played by Emily Chisholm) is a constant thorn in his side. His neighbor, Penn Webb, (played by Rio Codda) wants to win the upcoming Penn Relays to make his great-grandfather proud. They are joined by Mike (played by Adam Standly) who wants to be friends with Crash, and Jane (played by Kate Sumpter), who Crash wants to be friends with.
A good example of the great work of this ensemble is Todd Jefferson Moore as Crash’s grandfather, Scooter. Moore really understands the story of Crash and makes sure that his every line and action communicates that story. Even when Scooter can no longer speak, Moore is still telling the story. And Moore is just one of this group of amazing actors. I particularly liked Chisholm’s performance as Abby, who is excellent at annoying Crash without annoying the audience. Also, Peter Crook in the role of Crash’s dad is great at showing how he is too busy to see Crash’s games, but is there when Crash needs him.
This play is an engaging emotional journey and a well-acted and compelling story. This show touched me, made me sad, but most of all, gave me hope. Go see Crash!
Seattle Children's Theatre
Through May 19
Recommended for people in middle school and up