Rapunzel at Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre
When my daughter was younger, we frequently attended Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre productions. She enjoyed sitting on the ground in front of the stage, starstruck when characters would venture out into the audience and ask questions of the kids seated there. No matter the show, the actors were high energy, silly and engaging, deftly drawing eager kids into their tale. Audience participation was encouraged, parents were teased, kids giggled and within 45 minutes we were on our way to the lobby to meet the actors. It made for some nice early theater experiences because kids weren’t expected to sit still and be quiet. They got to be part of the fun!
Over the years, we added three boys to our family, and the $54 it would cost for all of us to attend a show became a little less do-able. So it had been awhile since we’d ventured back to the 1869 theater at West 18th and Lavaca. But, when I heard Rapunzel was opening this past weekend, I though it would be fun to return. My daughter, despite now being in middle school, could hardly wait to share the Scottish Rite experience with her younger brothers. And they were pretty excited too!
With a small cast of four, Rapunzel offers a simplified version of the fairy tale. Geared towards the preschool set, the play is goofy and lighthearted. Light on plot, but heavy on audience involvement , Rapunzel has more the feel of an entertaining storytime with costumes and scenery, than a full-fledged play. In this version, Rapunzel runs away from an undesirable suitor and gobbles up some veggies she discovers in the woods (I don’t know how she didn’t know the garden belonged to the witch because the kids in the audience were desperate to warn her, screaming, “No! Don’t!”). Rapunzel gets put in a tower, but is soon discovered by the undesirable suitor’s identical twin brother, who turns out to be a much more desirable option. So of course, everyone lives happily ever after – even the witch.
The performance we attended on Sunday was the first after it opened and the show was still a bit rough around the edges. There were some technical difficulties mid-show that held things up for awhile. The kids, however, didn’t really care. My daughter said she loved watching the gorgeous 129-year-old hand painted backdrops being raised and lowered. My sons, descriptive boys that they are, said they liked “everything.” I did notice that my five-year-old seemed to particularly enjoy yelling, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!!” when the witch was having trouble getting Rapunzel to hear her. Being asked to yell in a theater? When you’re a boy, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Rapunzel runs weekends through October 2, 2011. Tickets are available online for $10 for adults, $8 for children, and $4 for infants under 12-months-old. There is a $2 service fee that will be applied to your online order. Schools and groups of 10 or more may attend weekday performances.
Heidi Gollub loves exploring Austin and beyond with her 4 kids. For more local adventures for families, visit her site Free Fun in Austin.