Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon Review

Sara Gowen, Staff Writer

Almost everyone knows the classic stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and Rapunzel, but what many may not know is how the Brothers Grimm originally wrote the stories.  On the nights of September 23 and 24, students of Massapequa High School involved in the drama club presented a phenomenal reenactment of a select few of the stories  in what they called The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.  

The small cast was able to put the hour and a half long production together in only a few short weeks through the cast and crew’s hard work and dedication, alongside the strengthening support of director Mr. Kevin Harrington, who has decided to make this piece his last. 

The plot entailed a series of stories that the original Grimm brothers collected, with the play itself featuring narrators who directed each story as it was portrayed on stage. The fourth wall was broken within seconds of the beginning of the first scene, and the audience was directly addressed numerous times by the narrators and characters.  The characters had an overwhelming desire to change their story, making the show unique. There were also several mentions to the stories that were remodeled by Walt Disney, along with jokes referencing copyright.

The show started off with an introduction told by the narrators regarding the original stories, which was immediately followed by the hilarious main event.  It was a performance you couldn’t keep your eyes off of from the moment it began to the second it ended, leaving each person in the audience in tears from uncontrollable laughter.

The production began with the story of a poor girl who made deals with several evil beings, who were later revealed to be a witch, the devil, and a man named Rumplestiltskin.  She helped the beings in exchange for money, a prince, and a debt respectively, which she refused to ask about. She later has a daughter named Rapunzel, who became the debt paid to the villains. Throughout the telling of this tale, the cast maintained a large sense of irony and awareness from previous stories, which was a fresh perspective compared to more common tellings.

The play continues by telling the story of Snow White, whom of which married one of the seven dwarves that we all know to be small and innocent. She is later killed by the dwarves-an idea that was definitely left out of Walt Disney’s tale. After this story finished, Snow White quickly stated her concerns to her ending, and retells the story it in her own light, where she goes to college, and is a very large part of the feminist movement.

The show then transitions into Cinderella, where the actress once again quits once hearing the ending to her story. The “birds,” which were this story’s version of the fairy godmother, were forced to put on a dress, as the song pretty woman played in the background.  Viewers could not get enough of this as the entire crowd roared with laughter, something that continued for most of her story.  This was until the very end when Cinderella stole the show, for she insisted on telling another version of the story, her version, where she and Prince Charming lived happily ever after.

Other stories included Hansel and Gretel, where both characters were played by actors of the opposite gender.  The story addressed topics such as suicide, peer pressure, and well as drugs.  Audience interaction was the highest during this story as characters would do the opposite of what the audience were told to shout.

The final story included the devil and his grandmother. The only twist of this tale was that the grandmother had Alzheimer’s. The tale was about a road trip they took to the grand canyon, while the devil cracked jokes, confusing his grandmother greatly. She dies once they get there, as the devil ironically curses God.

The show finished with a quick recap of each story, which retold an hour and a half of stories in 2 minutes. The play left each audience member with a new perspectives on folk tales and on stories in general, since it was a darker and more realistic approach then than what most people think of when they hear the stories’ titles. The Grimm Brothers Spectaculathon was a surprisingly inspirational show that left the audience thinking of fairy tales in a new light.

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