FORT WAYNE — Guest directing and choreographing the Civic Theatre’s upcoming musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is New Haven High School and Ball State University graduate Doug King. This will be the 11th production he has been invited to direct at the Civic.
King, who lives in Indianapolis, says he always looks forward to returning to the Civic. “I’m really comfortable working here because the staff is easy to work with, the management is open to suggestions and allows me a lot of latitude for my ideas. The work ethic of the performers is outstanding. All of which makes my job a little easier. It’s fun to come back because this is where I got my start in shows at New Haven High School, the Civic Youth Theatre and on the Civic stage,” he said.
Before taking on the challenges of “Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang,” King directed Civic musical productions of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” twice, “Seussical,” “Plaid Tidings,” “Godspell,” “Cinderella,” “Spamalot,” “A Christmas Story the Musical” and “Rock of Ages.”
“This show is a take-off from the classic Dick Van Dyke movie of the same name. Many things from the film have been included in the stage production, including a flying car. It’s definitely a family show!” King said. “Adults need to come with a child-like heart and be prepared to buy into the fantasy.
“The dancing is delightful, especially the Me Ole Bamboo number originally done by Van Dyke. Our cast, which is a pretty athletic group, has picked up the movement quite well. There’s a lot of recognizable music that includes the title song ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,’ ‘Chu Chi Face,’ ‘Toot Sweet’ and ‘Hushabye Mountain.’ I’m confident that theatergoers will not only find it thoroughly enjoyable, but will also experience some surprises, too.”
Fort Wayne Civic Theatre Executive Artistic Director Phillip Colglazier says “the artistic committee selected this musical because it’s good for people of all ages, has wonderful music and a great story line. It’s also an opportunity for us to bring back memories for those who saw the classic movie starring Dick Van Dyke.”
“Of course we’ll have a flying car! We rented it from another theater and are now learning how to manipulate it on stage in different scenes and make it appear to fly, but I don’t want to give too much away. For young people who may not be familiar with the movie, I think they’ll be surprised, and it will bring back some fond memories for adults.”King has been performing, choreographing and directing at Beef & Boards Dinner Theater in Indianapolis for 30 years. He performed as one of the brothers in the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat with Donnie Osmond as Joseph for two years in Canada and Chicago. He’s a member of the dance faculty at Anderson University where he helped start the school’s dance program. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children. He’s the son of Rod and Natalie King of New Haven.