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Movie Review: Little Red Truck

Alternate Title: It's Showtime!

Story: Remember those Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney films when they would suddenly decide to 'put on a show?' Well, just imagine sixty kids staging a full-scale musical in six days. The Little Red Truck chronicles the incredible feats involving 250 kids in five different communities when Missoula Children's Theatre, via its signature little red truck, comes to each town. Two professional actor/directors arrive in each little red truck and proceed to audition, stage, rehearse, encourage, support, build sets and get these arts starved kids involved in theater. The movie is totally predictable and thoroughly entertaining. Director and writer Rob Whitehair introduces us to some very young at heart kids. This is a fun film for the entire family.

The Missoula Children's Theater program has been around for almost 40 years. Most small towns have no budget for the arts in their schools. Sadly, the arts programs are the first to go in any school budget. The Missoula Children's Theaters mission is to get children interested in theater, themselves and the creative arts. It is a noble worthwhile effort that has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of families. http://www.mctinc.org/

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMAFIhVC4gI

Acting: 250 adorable young actors.

Trivia: From the Missoula Children's Theater website: It was the summer of 1970. Jim Caron, unemployed and searching for a mission in life, was on his way from Chicago to a friend's wedding in Oregon when his aging Volkswagen van broke down. The nearest service station was - fortunately and fatefully - in Missoula, Montana. While waiting for the van to be patched together, Jim noticed an audition poster for Man of La Mancha. Just for fun, he auditioned and was cast in the role of Sancho. An instant and lasting friendship was developed with Don Collins, the actor playing Don Quixote. Along with Don, MCT's current Senior Development Office, Jim organized a company of adults who did plays for children on a make-shift stage in a local movie theatre. The plays - as well as the idea of developing live theatre for kids - were well received in Missoula, and soon nearby Montana and Idaho communities requested performances of their own.

Predilection: I like documentaries.

Critters: Sled dogs

Soundtrack: Wonderful numbers in all of the five plays.

Opening Titles: A quick look at the Little Red Trucks as they make their way to towns. Credits at the end.

Theater Audience: Two other people plus us.

Sappy Factor: 2

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: It was a little long in the middle. It cold have been edited a bit.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. A nice companion film to rent would be the also wonderful 'Young at Heart' about senior citizens who put on choral performances.

Length: 90 minutes