Encore Stage and Studio The Brothers Grimm: Out of OrderBy Jennifer Gusso • Mar 16th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Encore Stage and Studio
Thomas Jefferson Theater, Arlington, VA
Through March 20th
1:15 with Intermission
$10/$8 Students, Children and Seniors
Reviewed March 12th, 2011
In Brothers Grimm: Out of Order, modern day brothers Will and Jake are busy writing the script for their production of fairy tales in the middle of rehearsal, and it is just thirty minutes before the principal is arriving to decide if the school’s theater program will be able to continue. Characters from “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella,” and “Hansel & Gretel” find their stories mixed-around, turned-around and combined into one. This is all in the midst of the production drama and mix-ups.
Encore Stage did an excellent job with creating a fun and attractive set that could easily be moved and on and off as the script required. The lighting was excellent and was really shown off during the dance numbers. The choreography left a little to be desired, but the kids carried it off and were clearly having a great time. The only questionable decision was the placement of an intermission in the show, leaving the second act to run approximately fifteen minutes. It seemed to almost be a gimmick just to sell snacks.
The kids did an excellent job of pacing, energy, and just generally keeping the show moving and exciting. The first ten minutes were a little slow and exposition-heavy, but, once the story took off, it was charming and the young audience was in awe. Several of the youngsters especially stood out. One of those was Thomas Schindler. He played the actor who had been engaged to play Joringel. The actor was continually trying to quit, because of his obscure role, and actually ended up taking on the role of one of the stepsisters. This young man was hysterical as the disgruntled actor turned ugly stepsister. Another shining star was Hadley Kopser as Jorinda. She was the strongest dancer in the group, and she was sweet and entertaining as an actress “just happy to be in the show” who kept getting thrown into fairytale after fairytale.
Some other standout performances came from Thomas Kelty, as the actor from a mafia family portraying Prince Charming; Andrew Ruhnke, as brother Jake Grimm who wanted to fill the script with more violence (like girls cutting off their toes to fit in the glass slipper); Ellie Ward, the former Annie star who has now been cast as Rapunzel; Olivia Tate, as the director whose credentials consist of the fact that her father directed a few episodes of reality television; and Hope Sullivan, whose brief cameo as a duck delighted young audiences.
Standouts aside, all of the young performers should be very proud of the work that they put in. They were able to demonstrate great professionalism and comedic timing beyond their years.
Photos by Larry McClemons.
Disclaimer: Encore Stage and Studio provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6310.
Jennifer Gusso has been involved in theatre in the state of Maryland and DC for most of her life. She has acted, directed, choreographed, stage managed, and held a million other odd jobs. She has a B.S. in English from Towson University, and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree to become a Reading Specialist. She is a Maryland State Certified English, Theatre, Elementary, and Mathematics Educator. After teaching English and Drama for many years, she now teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Magnolia Middle School in Harford County, Maryland. She wrote the curriculum currently used in Prince George’s County Public Schools for Drama I and Drama II. She now writes and directs plays and musical for use in church.