Grimm meets Disney. That's how director Chase Ramsey describes his concept for SCERA's upcoming Theatre for Young Audiences production of "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale."
That's because the Utah premiere of "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale" combines many of the elements of the original Grimm story but puts a happy twist on it reminiscent of Disney's animated hit "Tangled" - making it a charming new musical designed for children and the rest of the family. As a bonus, the show's lyricists and writers, Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Freidman (also creators of the popular "How I Became a Pirate"), plan to visit Utah and see the production.
The one-hour musical will offer public performances on Mondays and Fridays @ 7pm beginning Feb. 18 and running through March 8. Reserved-seat tickets are for $6 for adults and $4 for children (age 3-11), $4 seniors (age 65 and older), and students (w/ID). They may be purchased in advance from 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12Noon-6pm at the main office of SCERA Center, 745 South State, Orem, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, online at www.scera.org or 30 minutes prior to performance.
Chase Ramsey is directing the familiar tale about the girl with outrageously long hair trapped in a tower deep in the gloomy forest. The evil Lady ZaZa needs Rapunzel to stay hidden so she cannot inherit the kingdom. If Rapunzel escapes before she turns 18, Lady ZaZa's plan will fail. She has put a spell on a once regal fire-breathing dragon to guard the princess but doesn't count on the handsome knight Sir Roderick and his hairdresser friend Edgar - on a quest to find a perfect head of hair - to thwart her plans. In the classic battle of good versus evil, Roderick and Edgar seek to rescue the princess with the help of a crazy gypsy women who wears a cloak fashioned from newspapers, potato chip bags and whatever litter she has gleaned from the forest.
Ramsey, who will earn his bachelor's degree in directing this spring from Utah Valley University, says the magical elements and the music, which ranges from pop to country, drew him to the production. He is also thrilled about his cast, including popular actress Kelly Coombs Johnson as Rapunzel, who is regularly seen in lead roles at theatres up and down the Wasatch Front.
The set, designed by Nat Reed, has a large tower that turns and opens into Rapunzel's rooM. Reed also created a 20-foot puppet for the dragon, Socrates, which will be operated and voiced by Shawn Mortensen, and is sure to be an exciting highlight for kids of all ages.
Other performers include Taylor Eliason as Sir Roderick the knight, Julie Nevin as the gypsy, Samantha Frisby as Lady ZaZa, Brandon Haden as Edgar the Hairdresser, Jillian Ormond as The Queen and Justin Stockett as the King.
SCERA President & CEO Adam J. Robertson loves the Theatre for Young Audiences program. "It's so neat to see kids experience the magic of live theatre, many for the very first time. And for parents, it's witty and fast-paced and entertaining for them as well."