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Dream Reality Group returns to stage
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Sydney Cook plays the lead of Moana in a delightful musical with show times this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Park Theater. She is flanked by Ellie Sutton and Leah Todd in this powerful opening scene.

There’s something to be said for perseverance and determination.

Those characteristics describe Dream Reality Group and its upcoming performance of Disney’s “Moana Jr.”

Dream Reality Group hasn’t taken the stage in a year and a half as the pandemic created obstacles which were difficult to navigate. But the theater organization has shown it can prevail by producing this first-rate performance that’s a visual spectacle and musical delight.

“Moana Jr.” is this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Park Theater with show times at 7 p.m. each day and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

“A lot of people loved it when we did Tarzan an+d this show has that same kind of feel,” said Dream Reality Group founder Logan Taylor. “The music is phenomenal with a really cool edge. The special effects and choreography give this show its own type of pizzazz. It’s been a year and a half. We had to come back big.”

“Moana Jr.” follows the story of its main character, the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific in hopes of saving her village. It’s no easy task.

“It’s about a woman stepping into her own and gaining confidence,” said Sydney Cook who plays Moana. “There are many complications along the way.”

Moana has help from her good buddy, Maui, who has the ability to shape shift thanks to his giant hook. Maui is played by Richard Maneiro who said favorite shape shifts include insects, sharks, and a giant hawk.

“There are three main reasons to see this show,” said Maneiro. “First, there’s Sydney Cook who is the perfect fit with the best voice to play Moana. Second, there’s a tremendous amount of high energy from a hard-working cast. And third, there’s the set design, which is second to none.”

Playful sidekicks include Leela Beaty as Hei Hei the Chicken, and Anniston Swallows as Pua the Pig. 

“Hei Hei is a little crazy. She’s not all there,” said Leela. “She’s stuck to the hip with Pua. They are partners in crime.”

Leela was in the very first Dream Reality Group show at Park Theater, “The Little Mermaid.” This will be the 17th play.

Said Anniston, “Pua is the more grounded one. She keeps them pointed in the right direction.”

“Moana Jr.” is a story of camaraderie and learning to harness the power within us. Moana and her crew show bravery and selflessness in their heroic journey.

Jasmine Dillon has arranged choreography with an island flair. Popular songs include “We Know the Way,” “I Am Moana,” “Know Who You Are,” and “An Innocent Warrior.”

Tickets are still available for $15 and can be purchased from the Park Theater box office at mcminnvilleparktheater.com.