Everyone knows the classic story of “Snow White,” but, oddly, it is rarely seen on the stage. Luckily, The Academy of Performing Arts has just opened the world premiere of Judy Hamer and Sam Govoni Roderick’s adaptation, bringing new life to this beloved tale.
The hour-long show begins with a young Snow White (Calla Pearson) voicing her concerns about her new stepmother to her rabbit friend Clover (Chiara Castro). As the Young Evil Queen, Daphne Zelinski is comically scheming and a bit ditsy, as she plans to eliminate the kindly King (Ryan Van Buskirk), to gain full rule over the kingdom.
To show the progression of time, Maya Smith plays a teenage Snow White. Smith is poised even as she tends to her tireless duties, assisted by her ever-devoted friend, Clover the bunny (Chiara Castro). Castro hops about the stage, and coupled with her costume, readily brings a rabbit to mind. Snow White displays her kindness and patience to all, including her posse of adorable and assorted woodland companions, sweetly played by: Delia Castro, Chloe Clark, Gabby Castro, Mia Nadeau, Barrett Gaskill, and Mallory Roderick.
The Evil Queen ages as well, with Jane Taylor playing an even more temperamental and conniving villain than her younger counterpart. Always accompanied by her sidekick Cleo the Cat (Aurelia Stamp), the Queen uses her to do her evil bidding. Stamp perfectly captures her feline character in her posture and how she peppers her lines with meows, every now and then.
The superficial Queen constantly consults her mirror asking, “Who is the fairest of them all?” Willa Zelinski plays the mirror standing perfectly still in a hooded cape to mimic an inanimate object.
Mark Roderick is the sympathetic Huntsman, who is charged with killing Snow White, but is swayed by her kindheartedness. The Prince, portrayed by Elias Blakely, is quickly taken by Snow White, seeing her beauty inside and out.
No version of Snow White would be complete without the Seven Dwarves, endearingly played by: Elizabeth Hilliar (Sassy), Livvy Zelinski (Bashful), Esme Van Buskirk (Silly), Charlie Tobin (Gloomy Gus), Oliver Shaw (Sleepy), and Anjali O’Brien (Chatty). To keep the group in line, Kelly Martin authoritatively plays Sarge, the leader of the dwarves.
The set, designed by Adam Roderick and wonderfully painted by Mark Roderick, along with Mike Cicale’s lighting design, embody all the magic that a fairy tale demands. The impressive 360-degree rotating set switches between the cold and dismal castle and the cozy home of the seven dwarves. Sam Govoni Roderick’s whimsical costumes are equally matched by Keren Castro's impressive makeup design, especially the forest creatures’.
Director Sam Govoni Roderick and assistant director Judy Hamer add many comic touches to their original production, and bring out the best in the mainly school-aged cast. On opening weekend the APA’s “Snow White” was nearly sold out; the show only runs through Feb. 23.
What: “Snow White”
Where: The Academy of Performing Arts, 120 Main St., Orleans
When: Through Feb. 23
Tickets: Call 508-255-1963