Enjoying The Stage At An Early Age


Supplied Photo from La Comedia Dinner Theatre of Rebecca Lea Evans (Doris); Adilynn Hatton (Susan); Jonathan Fluck (Kris Kringle) and Keenan Patrick Buckley (Fred)

SPRINBORO, OH -- Many years ago the famous actor W.C. Fields warned his adult colleagues to “never work with children or animals. You might ask, "Why would he have said that?" Most likely, because he had experienced how kids and animals can steal the audience's heart and the stage. 

After meeting Adilynn Hatton of Franklin Township, who is playing little Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street The Muscial at La Comedia Dinner Theartre this season, one can see how Mr. Field's statement is an accurate warning to his colleagues.

Though shy and quiet in person, 8-year-old Adilynn isn't only cute as a button, as the saying goes, she’s very talented. Not only can she dance and sing, she has been memorizing acting lines since she was five. Her first role was Greta von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Then in 2022, she played Susan Waverly in White Christmas. Both these productions were with Producer Joe Adkins at La Comedia.

This year's holiday production of Miracle on 34th Street The Musical, also produced by Adkins, hit the La Comedia stage on Nov., 2 and runs through Dec., 30 — often with two shows a day. Because there are two shows a day, there are two cast of kids, explained Adilynn's mom Brittany Hatton.

With Susan being one of the main characters in the musical, there's an impressive number of lines for a child actor to remember. When asked if it was hard to memorize all her lines, Adilynn quickly answered, "No." 

Her mom added that they did work on lines every night for two weeks before the two weeks of rehearsal began. Adilynn chimed in and said, "no, not every night mommy." 

"We didn't? Would you say we practiced five out of seven nights a week?" her mom asked. 

Adilynn squinched her nose as she was thinking really hard. Then, she answered, "yes, I think that's right."   

The play's story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, and focuses on a department store Santa Claus, who claims to be the real Santa and little Susan's unbelief in Santa. 

Adilynn explained that scene 6 is her favorite scene for its when the animals come to life. And, she enjoys the dancing and singing in that scene.

"Just Imagine is the scene. It's when Santa is trying to teach her to use her imagination and not be so serious," explained Brittany. 

When Adilynn isn't acting, she is busy taking voice and dancing lessons. "I like singing best," the second grader said, adding that her favorite singer is Elvis Presley with Dolly Parton and Reba following as very close seconds. 

So, when she's not busy singing and dancing, what does she like to do?

"Play with my American Girl Dolls and Barbie," Adilynn said.  

It's not hard to see where Adilynn gets her energy and multi tasking abilities... while Adilynn was busy auditioning and learning her lines, her parents Brittany and Stephen were busy welcoming her baby sister home, who at this writing is about 8 weeks old! 

"Adilynn's been a great helper with the baby," her mom added. 

For more information on La Comedia Dinner Theatre, ticket prices and availability go to lacomedia.com.

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