Waterworks Players To Present Hansel And Gretel

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A great famine settles over the land and a poor woodcutter unable to provide food for his starving children reluctantly agrees to his evil wife's scheme to ditch his children deep in the woods. The two children, overhearing their stepmother's plan, leave a trail white bread crumbs so they can follow them home. Once abandoned, Hansel and Gretel quickly learn that birds have the eaten the bread and they are hopelessly lost in the dark woods. After days of wandering and hungry for food, they discover a gingerbread cottage and quickly devour what they can get their hands on when a very old woman emerges and lures them inside with the promise of soft beds and delicious food. Unknowingly, the children have fallen into a trap of a wicked witch who plans to cook and eat them.

You know the story, right? Come to Waterworks Players' holiday pantomime for a delightfully different take on one of the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. Children and adults alike will enjoy the antics, wordplay and fun of this story set in a far-off land.

True to the spirit of the British pantomime, the characters interact with the audience, enlisting their help to find Hansel (Ross Baldwin) and Gretel (Audrey Gee). There is the familiar witch (Leigh Lunsford), however this story has a twist, the children aren't abandoned. Rather they are chasing after Hansel's new invention, a remote controlled birthday cake that takes off into the woods.

Hansel is sure that this “meal on wheels” will bring his poor and struggling family fortune. Betty (Jordan Whiley), the children's destitute mother, is worried about her wayward offspring and enlists the help of a nearly-blind constable (Nate Sterling). Another twist is that Hansel and Gretel have an older sibling named Freda (Ashlee Todt), who also gets lost in the woods and runs into an owl (Mary Jo Stockton), two goblins (Tim Davis and Michael Casterlow), and a woodsman (Matt Buchanan). Through in the dubious construction crew of Short (Walter McCoy) and Sweet (Shawn Stum), you have all the ingredients for a wonderful family outing.

Under the direction of Dudley Sauve and stage management of Hannah Boswell, Hansel and Gretel follows in the successful footsteps of the previous five pantomimes from Waterworks Players. The colorful costumes by Bea Oyler and forest set are a perfect backdrop for the slapstick comedy of a cast who clearly enjoys having fun with the audience. Moffatt Evans also adds several special effects that will amaze all.

Make reservations now for the whole family to attend Hansel and Gretel. Performances are Friday (Dec. 9) at 7 p.m., Saturday (Dec. 10) at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Sunday (Dec. 11) at 2 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. Tickets are $5 for everyone, children, adults, goblins, and owls. You can obtain tickets by calling the box office at 434-392-3452 or visiting the Waterworks web site: http://waterworksplayers.org.