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The Storybook Theatre performs a not very Grimm fairy tale. PHOTO BY BONNIE G. KALISHER
by Michael Berick
Next year will bring the release of the big Hollywood film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which (in case it isn’t obvious) is not a movie for children. There is a place, however, for young Hansel and Gretel fans to see this story performed. That place is the Storybook Theatre in the Cahuenga Pass. The interactive musical Hansel and Gretel is an original adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale that is a collaboration between Lloyd J. Schwartz (script) and Hope and Laurence Juber (lyrics/music).
Schwartz says the trend towards “dark and adult” versions of fairy tales “robs children of the joy that generations have experienced through Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.” He is pleased that this production, full of lively audience participation, gives kids (specifically children 3-9 years old) a fun way to experience fairy tales.
Lyricist Hope Juber explains that the most fun part of creating a children’s musical is “coming up with catchy tunes and rhymes that not only engage the kids, but entertain the adults as well.” She also loves watching the little ones dance in their seats and join in singing along. “It is particularly rewarding when they shout out lyrics and always adorable when they have unexpected answers to questions the characters ask,” she says.
Storybook Theatre, as they have done in the past, has created a merry way for young kids to enjoy fairy-tale theater.
Hansel And Gretel, 1 p.m. Sat. through March 2, Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., West. L.A.; 818-761-2203. $12 adults, $10 children.
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