‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ outstanding performance

Maui OnStage is certainly wrapping up their season with a bang — a “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” in fact! Perhaps the year’s most ambitious performance, the 1968 British musical is brought to life on stage at the iconic Iao Theater by visiting Director David Kaye.

As he describes it, behind all the mirth and merrymaking, Chitty is really a story of redemption. Chitty (the former racing car) has long since been discarded and is rusting away. From Caractacus Potts to Truly Scrumptious to the children of Vulgaria who have been banned from the kingdom, the story takes them and the audience on a ride to finding their own worth.

Highlights of the evening for me (there were many) include the laugh-out-loud number “Chu-Chi Face” sung by the Baron and Baroness of Vulgaria. The song and dance routines by the ensemble cast were dazzling, and not to be overlooked are the cameo appearances by Edison the dog.

The entire cast is superb, so while I hesitate to single any one performer out, young Dakota Welch’s portrayal of Jemima Potts suggests we have a star in the making here.

With two more weekends of performances, including the addition of matinees on Saturday afternoons, there are still many opportunities to see this outstanding, family-fun performance. But, parents, I must warn you — keep a close eye on your children lest the evil Child Catcher snatch them away!

Michael Blaz