published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Adventure awaits in 'The Neverending Story'

IF YOU GO

What: "The Neverending Story."

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Aug. 24; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

Where: Catoosa County Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga.

Admission: $11 adults, $9 seniors/students, $8 groups.

Phone: 706-935-9000.

Website: www.colonnadecenter.org.

Hollie Baranick has traded in comedy for adventure and fantasy in the Stageworks Entertainment presentation of "The Neverending Story," which opens today at the Catoosa County Colonnade.

"It's different than any other show I've ever done," said the company's producer and show's director, who usually opts for clever comedies. "We've had so much fun doing it. We're really enjoying it."

The stage play is taken from a German fantasy novel, "Die unendliche Geschichte," by Michael Ende, first published in 1979. The standard English translation, by Ralph Manheim, was first published in 1983.

The novel was later adapted into several films, "The Neverending Story," "The Neverending Story 2" and "The Neverending Story 3."

In the saga, as young Bastian Balthazar Bux reads a book, characters such as the boy warrior Atreyu become more and more real to him, and he, effectively, becomes a part of the fantasy set in Fantastica.

As it unfolds, Atreyu and Bastian must fight the spreading darkness of the Nothing. Ultimately, Bastian determines that a child's imagination will save the land.

Baranick said the adventure is filled with fantastical and mythical characters such as a dragon, centaur, troll and the winds.

Members of the 18-member, largely teenage cast -- most of whom play more than one role -- are transformed into their characters with fabric and headpieces, she said.

"We've done our best to make it fun and full of imagination," Baranick said. "I've done a lot of things I've never done before."

The play, she said, is geared for audiences of all ages, though she said "children are going to love it."

Along the way, Baranick said, they may pick up on the themes of overcoming evil, good versus evil, helping out one another and the triumph of imagination.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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