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posted: 5/14/2014 12:00 PM

'Grimm Fairy Tales' has fun with the classics

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  • Three witches and Rumpelstiltskin make sinister plans during a rehearsal of "Grimm Fairy Tales," a Spotlight Youth Theater performance coming to Batavia Fine Arts Centre this weekend. From left are: Maggie Molloy, 18, of St. Charles; Jon Mickel, 17, of Elgin; Lauren Rose Hoffman, 15, of Elgin; and Eden Renko, 16, of Cary.

      Three witches and Rumpelstiltskin make sinister plans during a rehearsal of "Grimm Fairy Tales," a Spotlight Youth Theater performance coming to Batavia Fine Arts Centre this weekend. From left are: Maggie Molloy, 18, of St. Charles; Jon Mickel, 17, of Elgin; Lauren Rose Hoffman, 15, of Elgin; and Eden Renko, 16, of Cary.
    Courtesy of Rachel Gray

  • Cinderella, played by Sydney Rae Trotter, and her stepsisters, played by Nicole Frantik, right, and Savannah Fiedler, rehearse a scene from "Grimm Fairy Tales."

      Cinderella, played by Sydney Rae Trotter, and her stepsisters, played by Nicole Frantik, right, and Savannah Fiedler, rehearse a scene from "Grimm Fairy Tales."
    Courtesy of Beth Mickel

 
Submitted by Kane Spotlight Youth Theater

What happens when Rumpelstiltskin steals the Grimm Brothers' pen, scroll and inkwell?

The fairy godmother loses her magic, Snow White doesn't want to take care of the seven dwarves (oops … make that eight) and a jazzy cool Big Bad Wolf claims he's "reformed."

Add princesses, princes, evil stepsisters, Hansel and Gretel, witches, and a cast of good and evil characters to the mix and you have Spotlight Youth Theater's original production of "Grimm Fairy Tales."

The cast of 94 kids, ages 8-18, will perform shows at 7 p.m. Friday, May 16; 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 17; and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18. All shows are performed at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St.

The character of Red, played by 14 year-old Yenashi Castillo of Elgin, doesn't find herself on a path to grandmother's house. Instead, she arrives in a land called Happily Ever After where everything gets mixed up.

"The show itself is extremely entertaining and hilarious for an audience of any age," said Castillo, who played Amelia in Spotlight Youth's "A Little Princess" and the White Stag in "Narnia." "There are hilarious, unique twists in it that bring so much life and personality to the show."

Joshua Dille, 18, of Bartlett (notable roles include Aslan in "Narnia," Rolf in "The Sound of Music" and Tin Man in "Wizard of Oz") has been cast as Prince Charming whose character, he said, "is a cross between Gaston from 'Beauty and the Beast' and Kronk from 'The Emperor's New Groove.'"

"Prince Charming is self-absorbed and incompetent, but he is extremely dramatic and high-energy," Dille said. "Astride his 'Gallant Steed,' he strives to defeat the forces of evil and earn the favor of his princess."

Elgin resident Ben Olson, who is directing the show, said "Grimm Fairy Tales" is different from other Spotlight productions such as "Les Miserables," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Guys and Dolls" in that "Grimm" was specifically written for Spotlight Youth Theater.

"There are roles for boys and girls ages 8-18, not just for a small number of older kids like Broadway-esque shows tend to be," Olson said. "It also has several wonderful messages, is really humorous, and has really fun and memorable music."

He described his cast as fast learners who are committed, super creative and very encouraging.

"As much as we are teaching and guiding them, we learn things from them as well," Olson said. "They are definitely special."

Other members of the directing team are assistant director Alex Molica, vocal director Amy Arbo, choreographers Anna Greeno and Lauren Stengel, intern Kevin Stoffel and Kane County area coordinator Kerry Krause.

Other lead characters include: Frog Prince played by River Sheridan, 19, Cary; Rumpelstiltskin played by Jon Mickel, 17, Elgin; Big Bad Wolf played by Elijah Mancilla, 17, Elgin; The Queen played by Maggie Molloy, 18, St. Charles; Lady Damara played by Eden Renko, 16, Cary; Carabosse played by Lauren Rose Hoffman, 15, Elgin; Fairy Godmother played by Sydney Wellnitz, 17, Algonquin; Snow White played by Morgan McDonell, 16, Geneva; Rapunzel played by Kelly Hicks, 14, Sleepy Hollow; Cinderella played by Sydney Rae Trotter, 19, Loves Park; Briar Rose played by Amanda Dell'Aringa, 16, West Dundee; Cowardly Prince played by Austin Krause, 15, Huntley; and Cinderella's Prince played by Jared Sheridan, 16, Cary.

Show tickets purchased in advance are $12 for adults; $10 for children and seniors; and $9 for groups of 15 or more. Add $2 at the door. For details, visit spotlight.org/kns14_grimm or call (847) 516-2298.

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