Vancouver playwright Peter Zednick describes Rapunzel: A Tangled Tale as “a fun retelling that introduces a twist to the hirsute tale in a fast-action pantomime with all the usual panto suspects and more.”
The playwright, a friend of Shuswap Theatre member Ellen Gonella, gave director Julia Body permission to bring his new twist on an old fairy tale to Salmon Arm audiences.
A distinctively different rendition, Rapunzel is locked in her tower by the wicked witch Vileda Scrunge, and, after many adventures Prince Pompadour, assisted by hairdresser Dame Wanda Wave, is able to rescue and marry her.
“It’s very silly,” begins Body. “The town is called Haute Couture and the king and queen are all about hair.”
Meet Queen Beehive, King Bouffant and Prince Pompadour. The prince has turned 21 and it’s time for him to get married.
Four possible prospects, a Goth, a cheerleader, a Veronica Lake look-alike and a cell phone girl all have perfect hair.
But Prince Pompadour doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. They are too superficial for his liking.
So the prince dresses up like a hip hop artist and roams freely about the village.
On one of his walking tours, he spies Vileda Scrunge, the village witch, call up to a tower where she is keeping Rapunzel imprisoned.
Rapunzel lets her hair down to allow the witch access to the tower.
When the witch departs, Prince Pompadour mimics her voice and when Rapunzel again lowers her hair, he climbs up to meet her.
“Rapunzel’s a mess; she’s the opposite of the hair girls,” says Body.
Other villagers include Peter Piper and his wife Polly, Hob and Gob, two hobgoblins, Wanda Wave a beautician, and TC the town crier.
“It’s a cast that stretches from age 10 to 60-plus,” says Body, noting that like all good pantomimes, there will be lots of opportunities for audience participation
There will also be a lot of little one-liners, references to local places, and songs that are takeoffs on popular numbers such as Single Ladies by Beyoncé.
The Witch sings I Put a Spell On You from Hocus Pocus and Dame Wanda sings Popular from the Broadway show Wicked.
When Rapunzel and Pompadour meet they sing Call Me Maybe.
A couple of Christmas songs will be included too.
Body says the cast numbers about 19 but the numbers swell when behind-the-scenes volunteers are included.
“I counted the crew up, and when you add front of house and backstage to the cast, it totals 57,” says Body with enthusiasm.
“We have a lot of new people involved, which is awesome. We’ve got people in the play we’ve never seen before.”
Body cautions that with such a large cast and crew, tickets may sell out earlier than normal.
The play runs over two weekends: Friday through Sunday, Dec. 4 to 6 and Dec. 11 to 13 – Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets are $9.98 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
Youths between the ages of 12 and 20 may also purchase tickets for $5 through the SHUGO program at the Salmon Arm Arts Centre.
Regular tickets are available online at www.shuswaptheatre.com or at Intwined Fibre Arts on Hudson Avenue.