‘Tuck Everlasting’ musical enchants at Fauquier Community Theater

The beautifully crafted show is like a love letter to the audience.

By Renée De Ponte

What does it mean to truly live? This is the underlying theme at the center of the endearing musical Tuck Everlasting, based on Natalie Babbitt’s beloved children’s book. The story unfolds with a glimpse into the sheltered life of 11-year-old Winnie Foster, portrayed by the sensational Lucy Underwood, who exhibits a talent far beyond her years. When Winnie’s father dies, her overprotective mother, authentically performed by Belén Rodas, keeps her daughter safe inside the fence for fear of losing her. Winnie’s only friend is her Nana played brilliantly by Lori Roddy, who has the audience laughing with her well-timed one-liners.

A frustrated Winnie decides to break the rules and runs away from home into “Tree Gap Woods.” There she encounters and befriends Jessie Tuck (Joshua M. Starzyk), whose family lives there in seclusion as part of an elaborate plan to keep the family secret hidden. Joshua is right at home on the stage artfully singing “Top of the World,” showing Winnie a different perspective on life. When Jessie’s disgruntled brother, Miles Tuck (Robert DeBroeck), meets her, he reminds the family of their plans to protect their secret no matter what the cost!

Winnie Foster (Lucy Underwood) and Jesse Tuck (Joshua Starzyk) meet the seemingly magical Man in the Yellow Suit (Scott Pierce) in ‘Tuck Everlasting.’ Costumes by Claire Anderson, photo by Stephen Rummel Photography.

During Winnie’s time with the Tucks, she learns their secret along with its benefits and consequences. The loving matron Mae Tuck (Sarah Bright) reminisces about her youth with her song “The Most Beautiful Day.” Sarah Bright’s grounded performance brings a beautiful essence to Mae that is intoxicating to watch. Miles Tuck shares with Winnie how the family’s plight has led to pain and loss in his life in the heart-wrenching number “Time,” masterfully sung by Robert DeBroeck. The family would not be complete without the rough-around-the-edges but endearing Angus Tuck, portrayed by Paul Thorton, who plays the guitar while singing his captivating song “The Wheel.”

When Winnie’s mother discovers she is gone, the audience is treated to the dazzling duo of Hugo (Luke Tessier) and Constable Joe (Jamey Pellegrini), who are on the hunt to find the missing girl. The delightful Luke Tessier lights up the stage with his quirky song “Hugo’s First Case,” which is charming, whimsical, and utterly hysterical. He is the perfect sidekick to Jamey Pelegrini whose comic timing is impeccable. Every good story needs a villain, and this one is no exception. Scott Pierce brings his immense talent to the role of the Man in the Yellow Suit who pursues the Tucks to steal their secret for himself. These powerhouse actors are supported by a talented ensemble that not only perform with grace and beauty but look like they are having so much fun!

TOP LEFT: Mae Tuck (Sarah Bright), Angus Tuck (Paul Thornton), Jesse Tuck (Joshua Starzyk), and Miles Tuck (Robert DeBroeck); TOP RIGHT: Mae Tuck (Sarah Bright) and Winnie Foster (Lucy Underwood) in the forest of Treegap, New Hampshire; ABOVE: The cast, in ‘Tuck Everlasting’ at Fauquier Community Theatre. Costumes by Claire Anderson, photos by Stephen Rummel Photography.

Director Jack Tessier presents a beautifully crafted show that is like a love letter to the audience. Together with his wife, Gabrielle Tessier, and her ingenious choreography, this pair pours pure love into this production. And the icing on top is the skillful singing thanks to the gifted musical director, Catie Murray.

The show builds to the climax with the song “Everlasting,” where Winnie must make a choice that will affect the rest of her life. In a breathtaking finale, Winnie’s choice is revealed through a passionate dance that leaves the audience pondering the initial question long after the curtain closes; what does it mean to truly live?

Catch this enchanting musical that has audiences laughing and crying with all the emotions in between at Fauquier Community Theater through May 19 on Fridays and weekends.

Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission.

Tuck Everlasting plays on Fridays and weekends through May 19, 2024, presented by Fauquier Community Theatre performing at Vint Hill Theatre on the Green, 4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton, VA. Tickets ($18–$22) are available online, or by calling the box office at 540-349-8760. All tickets are for reserved seating.

Printed playbills are available at the performances and also online here.

See Facebook for additional photos.

COVID Safety: Fauquier Community Theatre is following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health. As such, we will not have any seating or distancing restrictions. Face coverings are optional. If you feel sick or are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone sick, please do not attend. The theater’s complete COVID Procedures are here.

This project was supported, in part, by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Renée De Ponte’s passion for the entertainment industry started at the age of five when she started performing in her father’s magic shows. Her love for the stage compelled her to move to New York at the age of 17. Studying at the Atlantic Theater Company through NYU she learned the art of acting for the stage and screen. Wanting to learn more about the world of film she decided to move to Los Angeles and help start a theater company called Short Fuse, which would put on new plays written by graduates of the WB Writing Workshop. Every week she would read a new screenplay and developed an aesthetic for stories she wanted to write. She then chose to move to behind the camera and received a degree in Creative Producing with a minor in English at Chapman University. She has worked on such independent films as Wild Card, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, and See You on Venus. She moved to Virginia in 2020 to be closer to her husband’s family and homeschool her three children. She is currently the theater director at Aquinas Learning, where she has adapted and directed the plays Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and Pride and Prejudice.



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