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'It Must Be Pinocchio!'

Fun family musical at Firehouse on Sunday

Pinocchio, the beloved little puppet created and brought to life by kindly Italian woodworker Geppetto, will take the stage in Pleasanton this Sunday.

East Bay Children's Theatre is presenting Ron Little's family musical, "It Must Be Pinocchio!" in two performances, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., this Sunday at the Firehouse Arts Center.

The adventure begins with Geppetto, who creates the puppet Pinocchio and wishes he were his son. Enter the Blue Fairy, who brings Pinocchio to life with a wave of her magical wooden spoon, setting him on his journey to becoming a real live boy.

As in the traditional tale, the road is paved with trials and temptations, including a Fox and a Cat who are conmen, a band of razzle-dazzle actors, a wicked theatrical producer named Strombaloney -- and a giant whale.

The musical score by Ron Lytle includes "The Wonderful-Funderful Workshop of Geppetto," "Believe," "Little Boy," "Be an Actor on the Stage," "Why Settle for a Little (When You Can Have a Little More)" and "It Must Be Pinocchio!"

The fast-paced action and broad comedy pleases children, but, as with all East Bay Children's Theatre productions, a generous portion of the humor is aimed point-blank at adults.

The nonprofit theater company is known for its 85 years of bringing free musical theater to under-served elementary school children, with adult casts drawing from the Bay Area and beyond.

'Wonderful-Funderful'

What: "It Must Be Pinocchio!"

Who: East Bay Children's Theatre

When: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Sunday, March 4

Where: Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave.

Tickets: $12-$17; purchase at www.EBCTonline.org. Performances often sell out.

Running time: Approximately one hour.

Other performances: March 11 at Orinda Library; March 31 at Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek.

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