Premier Youth Events debut their version of family entertainment with a performance of ‘Pollyanna’ at the Carousel Ballroom in the Bullen Center on Thursday.

LOGAN – Premier Youth Events is definitely a family affair.

The theater group, which debuted their fourth production of Pollyanna at the Bullen Center on April 21, is a non-profit volunteer organization that cares about “creating wholesome activities and experiences for youth,” according to director Christine Brady.

Ms. Brady directed three of her own children in the cast. Artistic director Shilow Winn also directed three of her children. The names Thatcher, Parry, Kaufman and others recur over and over again in the cast. All 24 members of the cast, ranging in age from 12 to 22, were home-schooled.

The result of that familial association is a story that plays out on stage that should seem corny, but somehow doesn’t.

This play, based on the children’s novel by Eleanor H. Porter, holds few surprises, however.

The orphan Pollyanna, played with relentless enthusiasm by Evelyn Winn, arrives in the town of Bennington to be cared for by her maiden Aunt Polly (Asa Brady).

She is met is the train station by the maid Nancy (McCoy Brady) and the handyman Tim (Ryan Parry), who warn her not to expect a warm welcome.

Asa Brady plays Aunt Polly with a chilly reserve, but Pollyanna sets out to melt her.

Bennington is, if you recall, a town full of unhappy people. In addition to Aunt Polly, there is the heartbroken Dr. Chilton (Elijah Winn); the hypochondriac Mrs. Snow (Abigail Myer); the grumpy Mr. Pendleton (Jacob Parry); and the confused Rev. Ford (MicKinley Ford); and others.

Pollyanna goes to work on all of them and, by the times that the city bazaar rolls around, has cured all of them – except Aunt Polly.

That feat takes a Second Act that is pure soap opera, but it all manages to end happily.

All of the young performers are amazingly good, especially Evelyn Winn as Pollyanna, Asa Brady as Aunt Polly, Elijah Winn as Dr. Chilton, McCoy Brady as Nancy, Jacob Parry as Mr. Pendleton and Abigail Myer as Mrs. Snow.

The only problem with this show was its unbelievable three-hour length.

Ms. Brady could easily have trimmed nearly 45-minutes to an hour from its length by cutting the slow entrances and exits.

All performances of Pollyanna are scheduled to be performed in the Carousel Ballroom of the Bullen Center.

Evening performances of Pollyanna are slated at 7:00 p.m. on April 26, 27, 28 and 29. Matinees are scheduled for April 30 at 12: 00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

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