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'Boxcar Children' is must-see show for theater lovers in Folsom

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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A tragic tale of orphans striking out of their own and the people they meet along their journey is the latest offering of T.H.E. Actors Workshop in Folsom. The children are being hunted by the law and those seeking to reclaim a substantial reward being offered by a mysterious person from the children?s past. It?s all set in around the town of Centreville, Ill., in 1930. ?The Boxcar Children? boasts a cast of 11, four of them as the Alden kids. While all the actors performed their roles well, a few stood out. Samantha Shaw took on three roles and managed all with real professionalism. Shaw is a student at Sierra College. Keep your eye on this young lady and try to catch any shows in which she?s acting. I was impressed by her when she graced the stage in ?Treasure Island? and she doesn?t disappoint in her latest roles. Ryan Van Overeem, 15, who we last saw in the Oak Ridge High School drama department?s production of ?And Then There Were None,? shines as the doctor who befriends young Henry Alden. Lastly, Isabella Pucilowski is positively amazing as Jessie Alden, the ?bossy? kid who helps keep her siblings on track as they struggle to survive. Oak Ridge High?s Matt Kozak, 16, is superb as Cookie and Grandpa Alden. Kozak provides a real depth to his characters. Chad Eldridge plays Benny Alden with a nice and refreshing innocence. Finally, Andrew DeVivi Beck also shines as Henry Alden, the kid who tries to earn money during the Great Depression to put food on the table for his siblings as they live out of an abandoned boxcar. He was a hit as the title character in ?It?s the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown? and ?A Charlie Brown Christmas.? This is his sixth production with T.H.E. Actors Workshop. He and Isabella have the bulk of the lines in the show, so their hard work paid off. In all, I highly recommend catching this one. The show ends its run Sunday. * * * ?BOXCAR CHILDREN? When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday Where: The stage inside Victory Life Church, 800 Reading St., Folsom Cost: $15 general, $12 seniors and students, $7 children Info: (916) 207-5606, Actorsworkshop.net Rating: 5 out of 5 stars