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Olde World Theatre's Hansel and Gretel

Child's Play

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Olde World Theatre Co. major domo Richard Steine is the king of DIY stagecraft. It was probably inevitable that Steine’s back porch would essentially become the scene shop for OWTC’s creative children’s shows at The Belcourt, and he and his minions—both grownups and youngsters—have been busy of late constructing a glittery witch’s cottage for this remounting of the classic fairy tale. The production also features thunder and lightning, dancing skeletons, atmospheric use of a black light and a general nod in the direction of Halloween by which audience members are encouraged to arrive in costume. Beneath the cottage-industry SFX is the essential tale of two kiddies lost in the woods, which Steine has expanded to include a back-story, plus a focus on family values and a “green” sensitivity about the balance of nature. Lest anyone think Steine’s gone soft on his penchant for tongue-in-cheek humor, he comes through himself in the original role of Baron von Lumber (aka Herr Schnitzel), and there are comic fillips in the script that recall the fun of PeeWee’s Playhouse. The Witch is played by Liz Limon. Michael Smith and Laura Duke are the title duo.
Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 24. Continues through Nov. 7, 2009

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