The Children’s Theater Hansel & GretelBy Mari Davis • Mar 3rd, 2010 • Category: Reviews
The Children’s Theater
Thomas Jefferson Community Theater, Arlington, VA
Through March 7th
$10/$8 Children, Seniors, Students
Reviewed February 27th, 2010
It is a pleasure to watch a child’s first experience with live theater. I had that privilege on a “date” with seven year-old brother this past weekend. And when the show is performed by kids for kids it provides an especially unique experience. Directed by Susan Alison Keady, Hansel & Gretel offers a safe and fun way to do just that.
The story follows a brother and sister in a time of poverty when, in a moment of anger, their mother sends them into the deep, dark forest. There they meet a witch who wants to eat them, but they succeed in outwitting her and returning to their home for a happily ever after.
Stylistically, the show is very straightforward. Costumes are simple, yet evocative. Scene changes are easily executed by the youth-powered crew.
The characters are constantly in motion and hold the attention of the younger demographic well. An especially fun feature is greeting the cast afterwards. My “date” had fun asking various characters to sign his program.
Everyone onstage was great. The show was a lot of fun. Special mentions go to the trolls, played by Thomas Kelty and Ellie Ward, who got a bunch of laughs every time they were onstage. Darcy Pommerening as the Witch did a great job on beginning to develop her character. Olivia Wilson as Echo was fun and sassy with excellent characterization. The Goblins, Frick and Frack, meshed beautifully and were very entertaining. Well done, Morgan Shotwell and Anna Bradley! Finally, Hansel and Gretel did a tremendous job with their lines. Kiana Gryloo and Nicole Schindler spoke loudly and clearly which kept the story moving.
Hansel & Gretel is an old story and adults may not be thrilled with that child over there who can’t seem to sit still or be quiet. On the other hand, it’s nice to know that other grown-ups have to deal with fidgety children too. And it provides a great way to engage a young person in an imaginative experience you can share. My four-foot high escort said “I love it. I want to watch it again!” I’m not sure I would take him back for a second round, but it was sure fun the first time.
Disclaimer: The Children’s Theater provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/4759.
Mari Davis is a student of Speech and Communication at Northern Virginia Community College. She has been involved in the performing arts since the age of five when she debuted as the Little Red Hen on an elementary school stage. Her career includes both national and international ensemble performances with semi-professional choirs, various roles in community and college musicals (both onstage and off), as well as co-directing drama camp for Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA.