‘Harriet & Walt’ play review

Kelly Hurla / Washburn Review

Just from the title, “Harriet & Walt,” I expected a romance of the sort set back in the early 1900s. I found myself thinking “Who’s named ‘Harriet’ or ‘Walt’ anymore?

To my surprise, I walked into the Helen Hocker Theater and realized I might be wrong just from one look at the set. Among the other areas, one in particular caught my attention. I saw a child’s bedroom set up, complete with a picture of Justin Bieber and movie posters for “Breaking Dawn” as well as the new “Footloose.” As the lights dimmed and performers made their way to the front of the room, I wasn’t sure what to expect. One spotlight lit the room and a young girl began to dance. For the remainder of the play, I was faced with a pre-teen aged drama.

The main conflict of the play was the character Harriet dealing with her annoying little brother Walt. The plot consisted of Harriet and her friends preparing for a winter carnival and dance with contests such as snow angel, snowman and sled races.

While preparing for the contests, Harriet was asked to take Walt along. Being the annoying little brother character, Walt would get in the way and become unpopular within the group. This unpopularity thus causes Harriet to dislike taking her brother around. However, by the end of the play, Harriet realizes that he’s still her brother and loves him anyway.

The play was based off a children’s book by Nancy Carlson. This, sadly, was also adapted into a musical. I say sadly because overall, the singing was nothing remarkable. I was thankful for the introduction of Aunt Susan, the one character that could sing.

While the general plot bored me, I did take a liking to a couple of the characters. Olive, one of Harriet’s friends, was quite comical.

Although the play wasn’t much to my liking, I do believe it to have the potential of a good play. I just wouldn’t recommend it to any college aged students. For those with children around the age of the characters, it might work, however.