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Theaters bring fairy tales to the stage

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Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo copyright: Carol Rosegg

Whether it’s the spirit the of a girl who goes from wearing tattered clothing to a ball gown, the nostalgia of curling up to hear “In the great green room …” or learning life lessons from familiar characters, the magic of fairy tales continues to intrigue generation after generation. During the first half of 2016, three theaters will celebrate these stories.

“From the pumpkin to the carriage and her glass slipper, I can’t wait to see those transformations,” says Trisha Witt, director of marketing and communications for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” The Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical will run March 8-13.

Audiences can expect humor, but also romance and familiar tunes, like “In My Own Little Corner.” Witt also is happy to have an opportunity to draw children to the Fox Cities P.A.C. Opening night of the show will be Kids Night on Broadway with special activities being planned.

Another children’s favorite is “Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny,” which is adapted from the stories by Margaret Wise Brown. The production will appear at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 30.

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Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Photo courtesy of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts

“We’re looking at multiple generations growing up with this story,” says Kate Green, executive director. “It’s a nice time of live entertainment in 60 minutes, in a format that’s very palatable for little ones.”

Green describes the performance by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia as “almost like a bedtime story read to you in the theater.” The stories, told through puppetry, celebrate nighttime rituals and the enduring story of leaving home.

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Into the Woods. Photo courtesy of Hysterical Productions

Last, but not least, is the story of “Into the Woods” by Hysterical Productions. The show, featuring the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, will appear at The Grand Opera House April 15-17 and 21-23.

“The reason we chose ‘Into the Woods’ is because it has a plethora of messages in it,” shares Angela O’Donnell, artistic director for Hysterical Productions and director of the show. She adds that the characters — including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, a baker and his wife, witches, wolves, giants and Jack (from another famous tale) — come to life in a way that the audience will be able to see themselves in them, along with their mistakes.

“We love literacy and the idea of passing on something better to the next generation,” she adds.

—FC

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