Audience members of all ages will delight in the Savannah Ballet Theatre's March 10 production of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."
Artistic director Suzanne Braddy and managing director Abby McCuen have woven together dancers from local studios with SBT company members and renowned guest artists.
"It's such a good story," McCuen says. "Every time I tell people we're doing the show, everyone gives me a different story about it - 'I read the book in third grade,' 'My grandma read it to me.' It's such a timeless story."
Based on the book by C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" tells the story of four children who are forced to leave London during World War II to live in the home of Professor Digory Kirke. They find a magic wardrobe that leads to the land of Narnia, where they learn that not everything is as it seems.
Established in 1998, Savannah Ballet Theatre's mission is "to develop and showcase the talent of dedicated Savannah dancers and to engage in educational outreach and promotion of the art of dance within our community." The company has an official school, the Savannah Ballet School of Dance.
"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" requires a large cast.
"We have our 18 company members along with seven guest artists, a guest choreographer and about 30 local dancers from various studios who are also participating," McCuen says. "We did a great job marrying all those together. It can be hard, knowing we have a 4-year-old reindeer and a 30-year-old wolf.
"We have all new costumes and some set pieces. Our company has done this ballet before, but we haven't done it in 10 years.
"We've revamped it," she says. "We started from scratch, keeping the story in mind. We think it's going to be a really big hit."
The guest choreographer is Yana Feldman.
"She was a company member of ours last year," McCuen says. "Her husband is in the military, so they move a lot.
"She has come back and is choreographing, along with the artistic director and myself. The three of us are all on the same page.
"Yana is from Russia, but moved here when she was 14," McCuen says. "She trained in Russia and has a fantastic foundation. She enjoys contemporary movement, so you will see classical ballet on pointe shoes and contemporary movement with very animalistic moves."
Another standout is Avery McGee as the witch.
"Avery is a graduate of Point Park University and a principal dancer in our company," McCuen says. "She's also on the dance faculty at the Savannah Arts Academy. She is a bright star, she really is."
The show is suitable for the entire family, McCuen says.
"I think a lot of times with this, you feel it's a children's story," she says. "Although it was written for children, this is a truly timeless story of good and evil. It's an escape through the wardrobe from everyday life.
"You are going to come into the theater and enjoy it whether you are 3, or 63, or 73. It's an escape from reality for an hour and a half.
"There is a character meet-and-greet included in the price," McCuen says. "Bring a pen and program so the dancers can sign it. It will be a nice souvenir to take home."
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Ballet Theatre presents "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
When: 7:30 p.m. March 10
Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.
Info: 912-525-5050, savannahboxoffice.com