Rapunzel runs through Jan. 4 at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N.
Lincoln Ave. Tickets start at $10. www.EmeraldCityTheatre.com
The audience at Emerald City's new production of Rapunzel was
filled with pint-sized princesses at the Apollo Theater on a recent
Saturday morning as they eagerly awaited their favorite character
to prance onstage.
But as they'd soon learn, there's an inherent problem with
bringing a Disney show to the stage without bringing with it all of
the copyrighted material: The children's confusion.
Where's the frog, one of the audience members wondered? Why is
the bad witch actually good?
Yes, it's all great and original to be able to pull off
Rapunzel, as Emerald City's new production is basically able to do
on the Apollo Theater stage without Disney. But it's usually very
difficult to do a better version than Disney. And this wasn't a
better story than Disney's. It was a very good, decent one - and
very impressive for the price. But it lacked some of the magic that
most of the children in the audience are probably used to, having
been trained by their Disney DVDs.
Having said that, there were some very nice parts to the show,
and the children - even those who are huge Tangled fans, are going
to really enjoy it.
It's an original musical, and the music and singing is very
good. The show was adapted by the writers of TV's Friends, and
there were enough funny lines to keep adults engaged, with the
60-minute show flying by quickly for the grownups and children of
Rapunzel, played by Katrina Kiss, was sugary sweet (although a
stronger, more powerful Rapunzel would always been welcomed instead
of the weakling that she seems always to be), while Prince Brian
was a little whiny and annoying for someone who was supposed to be
the powerful rescuer. The witch, who was played by Tamara White,
was not very mean and actually turned good in the end.
What bothered me most of all was that Rapunzel's original
parents (the ones whom Rapunzel was kidnapped from at the beginning
of the show) were long forgotten at the end, and the witch was even
celebrated for being such a good mother who simply was having a
hard time letting her child grow up. It's a simple problem that all
parents must deal with, I suppose, but let's hope that the rest of
us didn't kidnap our children.
Still, the show overall is entertaining enough, and Rapunzel
fans won't have any problems with the minor details.
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
See more of Danielle's stories here.
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