ick Batalla, Darrin Revitz, Jen DeMinco, and Breanna Kelly in Troubadour Theater Company’s
"The Snow QUEEN"
at the Falcon Theatre.
(Photo by Jill Mamey)
It takes lots of imagination to create a musical like “The Snow QUEEN.” Not only does it rewrite a fairy tale, but it has also recreated the songs of Queen to fit the story.
The play, produced by the Troubadour Theater Company, starts off innocently enough; a brother and sister (well, almost) are fascinated by a tale of a faraway snow queen. But soon after, the sister Gerda (Misty Cotton) must deal with a catastrophe when her playmate and best friend Kai (Joseph Keane) disappears. What follows is a hilarious journey that takes a crack at every fairy tale trope: including, but not limited to: a wise, friendly bird companion, the mean witch, and of course, the foreboding queen himself.
This play grabs you from the opening act and doesn’t let go. Your senses will be assaulted from the whirlwind of songs, dirty jokes, and slapstick action, and soon you will feel as though you too have fallen into an alternate world. You do not have to be a Queen fan to appreciate this show, but you will have more fun if you are familiar with the greatest hits. The reworked lyrics are clever and fly by so quickly that you’ll find yourself wishing you could pause and rewind the songs.
The leads delivered solid performances; though no one stands out in particular, they all came together to bring the show home. But the audience should be aware that they could easily become part of the act. Just don’t come in late or look at your program after the show has already started!
This play is always self-aware. A designated “narrator,” sits on the side of the stage, though he soon becomes part of the action. Frequent jokes are made about the low-budget set, and characters often take themselves out of the action to give snarky commentary. There are, of course, numerous jokes that reference LA; the kindly grandmother (Lisa Valenzuela) advertises herself for dates in the 818 area and “Bohemian Rhapsody” contains a funny line about gluten free eating.
The costumes provide an interesting dimension to the show, as they add to the comedic appeal and development of characters. Kai and Gerda are straight out of a Bavarian folktale, and their grandmother rocks an elaborate beehive. When Gerda stumbles upon a witch early on in her journey, the old woman and her “Meryl Streep wig” freaks the girl out. And Gerda is then later disappointed when her raven friend turns out to be just a man in a black bodysuit. Of course, the Snow Queen himself does not disappoint. His gravity-defying hair and white combat boots are worth the wait for his appearance at the end of the show.
Like a blast of cool air, “The Snow QUEEN” is a refreshing breather from the sometimes over-sentimental holiday shows. The high-energy cast members go all out with their performances, guaranteeing that this musical will rock you.