by Daniel Hathaway
“We started out knowing the story,” said stage director Benjamin Wayne Smith, but then we realized that there’s more there than we all thought — layers and layers. It functions on so many levels. You can bring your six-year-old and they’ll be enchanted with what they see from the naturalistic colors of the first two acts to the garish, bright candy colors of the third act. Plus there’s so much nuance in the music that it appeals both to the seasoned musician and the casual listener. It’s so tuneful you fall in love with it right away.”
Englebert Humperdinck’s operatic version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel can be played in many different ways, but Smith took his cue from the music in conceptualizing Baldwin Wallace’s production of the show, which opens in the John Patrick Theatre at the Kleist Center in Berea on Thursday evening, February 20 and runs through four performances, ending with a matinee on Sunday, February 23.
“The opera is just not as dark as the original story, especially in its portrayal of Hansel and Gretel’s parents. [Read more…]