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Star-Telegram.com

Review: Casa Manana's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Posted Saturday, Oct. 02, 2010

By juliekrhodes

I have never, in my whole life, even while at Disney World, seen so many little girls dressed up like Snow White as I did last night at the opening of Casa’s children’s theatre production. Little yellow dresses, big yellow dresses, yellow dresses wearing yellow dresses — it was marvelous. And for once, I felt right at home in my pale Irish skin.

The evening only got better.

What parents will like: This show, like all Casa shows, is just as polished and clean as we’ve come to expect — something theatre people can appreciate as the mark of professionalism. And, the voices! My goodness, the voices. All four leads — Mary McElree (Snow White), Christopher J. Deaton (The Prince), Greg Dulcie (The Huntsman) and Cara Statham Serber (The Queen) were clear, strong and perfectly cast. What else will you like? Well, the production is only about 1.5 hours long with no intermission, so you won’t have to pack a first aid kit, overnight bag and picnic lunch to get you and your offspring through a full-length Broadway show. A perfect distraction for your kids’ short attention spans.

What kids will like: The Seven Dwarves, of course. Played by children (mostly girls), the dwarves were simply delightful to watch every time they came on stage. Miraculously, the director (Joseph Sturgeon) was able to block and coach them in such a way that you could always tell who was talking and when — quite a feat with their fast-paced scenes — and it was easy to tell who was “Sleepy,” who was “Grumpy,” etc. Kids love watching other kids, it’s true. But adults will also love watching them because they’re great little performers, plain and simple.

Good to know: You remember the storyline, right? Evil sorceress, creepy mirror, huntsman with a butcher knife, the heart in the box, glass coffin? Hasn’t changed. It will bring back your fond childhood memories of hiding behind the 70s avocado-green sofa during the scary parts of Disney’s 1937 classic. The Queen (Cara Statham Serber) plays her a bit humorous, but doesn’t shy away from punctuating a few scenes with a shriekish cackle that left me hankering for a sofa to hide behind. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised at how relatively few kids seemed afraid. I guess all you smart parents out there prepped them in advance. Kudos to you. But I probably wouldn’t bring any kids under 5. I know my three-year-old would probably require professional counseling if he had attended.

All in all: Great show. A fun idea for a daddy-daughter date, or for a girls’ slumber party outing!

Show info: October 1-17, 2010, Casa Mañana Theatre. Visit www.casamanana.org.

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