Audience members attending performances of "James and the Giant Peach Jr." at the Lebanon High School auditorium likely will notice the musical's song-and-dance numbers, insect characters and crazy costumes.

But not all of the audience members will appreciate all the work the 60 students in the school's musical-theater program have put into the production.

But their directors know all the work that went into the play.

Musical theater teacher Anneke Vander Haak, who taught the class with choir director Kevin Wong, was very impressed with the students' dedication.

"The students have worked hard on this production for the last three months, from rehearsing choreography and blocking scenes after school to spending all day on a couple of Saturdays painting sets," Vander Haak said.

The musical, based on the classic children's novel by Roald Dahl, begins with a young James (Jude Heimbuch) being sent by his cruel aunts, Spiker (Michelle Deveney) and Sponge (Rebecca Hoskins), to chop down their fruit tree. He discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, which rolls into the ocean and embarks on an epic journey.

Along the way, James befriends a collection of singing insects: Ladybug (Annie Latimer), Spider (Riley Moyer), Centipede (Connor Wilcox), Earthworm (Ellie Johnson), and Grasshopper (Denver Decker). The group faces hunger, sharks and many disagreements as they accompany James on the adventure

Ladahlord, the narrator for the 13-son musical, is played by Jay Wilcox.

"Our set and costume design have been created by two student co-stage managers this year, Taryn Foster and Karma Buckner, and they both have done an outstanding job," Wong said.

"I think the audience will enjoy entering into the story of 'James and the Giant Peach' with us, seeing the hard work and passion of the students pay off," Vander Haak said.

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