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posted: 9/3/2012 6:00 AM

Magical Starlight Theatre puts fresh spin on the story of Rapunzel

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  • Magical Starlight Theatre is among the first companies to perform "Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" which is a new take on the classic tale.

       Magical Starlight Theatre is among the first companies to perform "Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" which is a new take on the classic tale.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Brett Bush plays Sir Roderick, who is out to rescue the princess in Magical Starlight Theatre's "Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" Though it's a retelling of the story, it has all the classic elements of a fairy tale -- a princess, a hero and a villain.

       Brett Bush plays Sir Roderick, who is out to rescue the princess in Magical Starlight Theatre's "Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" Though it's a retelling of the story, it has all the classic elements of a fairy tale -- a princess, a hero and a villain.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • It's all about the hair in Magical Starlight Theatre's retelling of the Rapunzel story in "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale." Natalie Broschka takes on the title role.

       It's all about the hair in Magical Starlight Theatre's retelling of the Rapunzel story in "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale." Natalie Broschka takes on the title role.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
By Annalisa Rodriguez
arodriguez@dailyherald.com

It comes as no surprise that hair is a central part of the story of Rapunzel.

But organizers of Magical Starlight Theatre's "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale!" say that's even more true in their version of the story -- everything revolves around hair.

"The basic truths of the story are still there," Director Kris Visher said. "But the problems and circumstances to how it's resolved all have to do with hair. It takes the same plot and it very lightheartedly creates a visual reference to that."

The musical will run at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays from Sept. 7-16 in the Little Theatre at Naperville Central High School, 440 W. Aurora Ave. Tickets are $8 in advance, available at napervilleparks.org or by calling (630) 848-5000, or are $10 at the door.

The story of Rapunzel begins with her aunt, who locks Rapunzel in a tower in the hopes that on her 18th birthday, when Rapunzel would be queen, she instead will gain the power.

"She is very obnoxious and self-centered," Visher said. "She is our villain who cares about nothing but herself."

Enter the knight in shining armor: Sir Roderick is on a quest to find Rapunzel, and coincidentally, so is his friend Edna, his traveling partner who is a hairdresser on a quest to find the greatest head of hair in the kingdom.

"Roderick has a heart of gold but still needs his best friend, Edna, who's the hairdresser, to be the brains of the operation," Visher said.

Co-producer Kate Ray said the musical, which was written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Freidman and premiered in Cincinnati to an audience of 19,000, is a fresh, new take on the Rapunzel story.

"It's a brand new, really fresh view of the fairy tale Rapunzel," she said. "It starts out with the maiden in the tower with long hair but from there, it's a fresh take on it."

But audiences will still recognize the basic story line of the fairy tale that they have come to expect, Visher said.

"It has a very light, Disney sound to it, so I think when people come to something called 'Rapunzel,' they won't be disappointed," she said. "We still have our hero, our knight who comes to the rescue. Every element of the fairy tale is still there."

Many types of music and dance are incorporated into the performance, including a lyrical ballet, a "Dreamgirls"-style song and a castanet dance number.

"It's new music that they will be humming when they leave," Visher said. "There's all different feels of music, all different styles of music. There's a lot of layers."

Visher said Magical Starlight Theatre is the first to premiere the musical outside of the Cincinnati area, and that gives the theater more room to be creative in its interpretation of it.

"All we have is our imagination and the script," Visher said. "The slate is blank. The page is clear, and we get to put all the color and life and breadth into the story."

Natalie Broschka, a junior at Metea Valley High School, said Magical Starlight Theatre's version of Rapunzel is similar to the movie "Tangled" and will be a hit with little girls.

Broschka said everything about the character of Rapunzel is appealing -- she has all the Disney princess qualities, and even though she's been stuck in a tower her whole life, she keeps hoping and dreaming for something better.

"I think that she is so creative and smart, and she just knows how to have fun and make the best out of every situation, and I think she's someone to admire," Broschka said. "I think it's really cool to play a Disney princess and imagine what that's like."

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