A rapping mirror that pays tribute to ‘80s hip-hop and a huntsman who could stand to use a few anti-depressant pills only offer a snapshot of the craziness in Wilmington Drama League’s “The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White.”
The show kicks off Wednesday morning at The Grand, as part of The Grand’s 2012 Children’s Summer Theater program.
“The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White” — loosely based on epic children’s novel “Snow White” by the Brothers Grimm — was authored by Barbara Lennon with music by Bill Francoeur and lyrics also by Francoeur and Lennon. Kathy Butterbaugh, of Wilmington is the show’s director and plays the Evil Queen.
Most of the cast in the production is comprised of tweens and teens, with a few adults sprinkled in.
‘Snow White’ with a twist
A brother and sister’s imagination runs wild as their mother reads them the household fairytale “Snow White.” The restless kids visualize a gorgeous girl with ivory skin who’s envied by her conniving, narcissistic stepmother, the Evil Queen.
Evil Queen possesses Mirror — a rapping mirror with a bit of an attitude problem — and it’s tasked with keeping her ego inflated. Always telling Evil Queen she’s the prettiest or “fairest of the land,” Mirror has flipped the script informing her Snow White has it going on now — infuriating the wicked stepmother.
Only seeing red, and White, of course (it’s like she’s got a thing for the band White Stripes), Evil Queen must rub out her child.
Specifically, the stepmother wants Huntsman — a fan of Snow White — to bring her stepdaughter’s liver and heart to her in a box, since she’s not about to bloody her own precious fingers to do the dirty work.
But if Huntsman refuses to carry out the assassination, lets just say Evil Queen will immediately have an uncomfortable, human-sized box for him to nap in; and it isn’t the kind shaped like a birthday cake that scantily clad men spring out of at bachelorette parties, either.
Can seven dwarf bodyguards (all played by young ladies, except for one), who adore Snow White, be enough to protect the eye-candy dame, or will she soon expire like a newly purchased gallon of milk accidentally forgotten in the back seat of a car on a toasty summer day?
‘It’s not all princess-y’
Reaffirming the notion that Walt Disney Studios — which created the animated hit “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” — should stay away from making jolly, princess films because many young ladies aren’t interested in cliché fairytales, 10-year-old Maureen Carroll, who plays Tip the dwarf, said she clings to “The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White” because of its tongue-in-cheek humor and diverse soundtrack.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s not all princess-y and girly-girl,” said Carroll, a rising fifth-grader at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Wilmington. “I think adults would enjoy it, too.”
Gabriella Pergeorelis, 13, who plays Pip the dwarf, echoed Carroll’s sentiments.
“It’s not all about love and princesses,” remarked Pergeorelis, a rising eighth-grader at Cab Calloway School of the Arts.
‘She’s the Queen, a drama queen’
While the name may imply it’s a rock ‘n’ roll-filled musical, “The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White” essentially offers an eclectic soundtrack that’s more focused on weaving a motley of musical flavors through its tapestry than delivering mushy, heartfelt tunes conveying the imagery of romance and dandelions.
The musical does include rock (“Snow White’s Hip-hop, Doo-wop, Be-bop, Funky Little Rockin’ Tale”) as well as calypso (“The Seven Dwarves Work Song”), Doo-wop (“Ladies in Waiting”), hip-hop (“I’m Just a Mirror”) and other flavors.
Though each song in the show is unique, “I’m Just a Mirror” certainly takes the cake.
George Foetcher, who plays Mirror, kicks vintage-styled rhymes that bash the wicked stepmother with: “She’s the Queen, the queen of mean/She’s the Queen, a drama queen.”
Foetcher, 22, of Wilmington, explained the premise of the tune: “The gist of the song is I’ve put up with the Queen for so long and I’m so sick of her. I had to say, “Guys, listen to how evil she is: She’s terrible; there’s nothing redeeming about her; nobody likes her and she’s going to get her comeuppance.”
It hasn’t been finalized yet, but Foetcher said there’s a chance you might see him perform the robot during his song, since he’s been browsing ‘80s rap videos on YouTube for ideas on constructing his choreography.
“Maybe, who knows?” responded a nonchalant Foetcher when asked if he’ll do the robot. “I’m going to channel 1984 and 1985.”