Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide


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note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Carl A. Rossi


by Jessie Braham White, based on the Fairy Tale by the Brothers Grimm
directed by Jane Staab

Princess Snow White … Yahanna Faith
Queen Brangomar … Robin V. Allison
Rosalys … Kate Frederic
Amelotte … Alison Dempsey
Ermengarde … Alison Dempsey
Guinivere … Rachel Nicholson
Christabel … Jonalis Carrasquillo
Astolaine … Kortney Adams
Ursula … Zoë Lewis
Lynette … Emily Bache
Sir Dandiprat Bombas … Doug Lockwood
Berthold … Elbert Joseph
Prince Florimond of Calydon … Shelley Bolman

The Seven Dwarfs:

Nudge … Susan Bigger
Blabber … Ellen Colton
Scratch … John Davin
Squeaky … Mariko Kanto
Quee … Nora Marie Murphy
Shy … W. Yvonne Murphy
Toot … Ilyse Robbins

Witch Hex … Robert Saoud
The Mirror … Jane Staab
Maids of Honor … Annie Giddings; Amanda Kline


Patrico Artusa; Drew Buckley; David Kalm;
Aaron Ladd; Emma McKenney; Jacqueline Stipo

Forest Animals/Pages/Sisters:

Celín Carlo-Gonzalez; Grace Churchill; Emily Eldridge-Ingram;
Olivia Gutfreund; Aliyah Harris; Aliza Heeren; Sydnee Jackson;
Cheyenne Jones; Olivia Kivel; Lea Luniewicz; Caroline Mancusi;
Zeba Race; Kyle Reeve; Zane Roth; Alison Rowe; Emma Stern;
Megan Uehlein; Alex Waye; Talia Weingarten

Everyone should take in some children’s theatre, now and then, on either side of the footlights; it’s a great way to cleanse the artistic palette and get back to basics --- the enchantment of theatre --- and to witness the beauty of youngsters as round-eyed with wonder as those in the famous Eisenstadt photo taken at an outdoor puppet show. If you have or know of children with nothing to do on an upcoming afternoon or evening, or if you wish to turn back your own clock for a few hours, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS at the Wheelock Family Theatre is a treat for all ages. This is not the Disney version, mind you --- there are no songs, the wicked queen now has a witch to assist her, the differently-named dwarfs are more earthbound (but no less adorable), and the scales are tipped in favor of sweetness and light rather than the thrilling terrors of childhood. One must suffer through scenes with eight ladies-in-waiting and a court fop, but once Snow White enters the deep, dark forest, the show goes swimmingly.

Yahanna Faith’s Snow White is spunky enough for modern tastes yet still traditionally comely and though he is only there to fall in love in the beginning and marry at the end, Shelley Bolman is a properly boyish Prince. Director Jane Staab allows the ripe, handsome Robin V. Allison and that enjoyable ham Robert Saoud to camp up the Queen and the Witch just enough to keep adults entertained while still appearing menacing to children (that is Ms. Staab’s own clarion voice echoing through the Magic Mirror), and I was amused at the Dies Irae and opera instrumentals being used for background accompaniment --- one selection, Puccini’s “E lucevan le stele”, made the dwarfs’ woe over the poisoned heroine surprisingly moving. Rich Archer and Marian Piro have provided the storybook setting and costumes, and Russ Swift, the atmospheric lighting, especially for the eerie opening of Act Two.

“But how are the dwarfs?” you may be demanding. Again, they are adorable, a diminutive ensemble within a larger one and played with Elizabethan zest by one actor (John Davin) and six actresses (Susan Bigger; Ellen Colton; Mariko Kanto; Nora Marie Murphy; W. Yvonne Murphy; and Ilyse Robbins), all with pointed hats and most of them sporting whiskers. Their personalities come from their rustic little souls and not from their labels and they are great fun to watch, together and individually; Ms. Bigger is particularly grand as a mini-Falstaff. When the dwarfs heralded their first entrance by tossing up sacks from an underground opening to the strains of Grieg’s “In the Halls of the Mountain King”, I settled back, smiling: I knew they were going to be wonderful ­ and they were. And they are, for a few weeks more.

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (2 April - 2 May)
180 The Riverway, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 879-2300

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide