Don’t miss ‘Snow White’ at The Grand March 14-16

THE POST-SIGNAL/ Howie Dennis
Cast members performing in the Notre Dame Players’ upcoming production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” are, front row from left, Corinne Doucet, Lorin Swilley, Caroline Swilley, Claire Hebert, Ellie Doré; middle row, Vanessa Benoit, Sydney Borne, Caroline Robertson, Hunter Jon Lambert, Michael Herpin; back row, Matthew Guidry, Bethany Leonards, Macyn Douget and Grant Broussard.

 

By: Saja Hoffpauir

Lifestyles Editor

The Notre Dame Players have worked long and hard on their production of the musical “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” set to play at The Grand Opera House in Crowley March 14-16, and it shows. 

Viewers of one of next week’s performances will be delighted not only by the funny, whimsical fairy tale, but by the sheer talent of the cast as well.

The play begins by introducing the audience to the evil Queen (Sydney Borne), the beautiful princess Snow White (Caroline Robertson), whom the Queen has forced into domestic slavery, and the three ladies in waiting, Penelope (Bethany Leonards), Lucinda (Sidney Gilder) and Mathilda (Macyn Douget). 

Someone has sent a package, delivered by Sirs Clumsy (Grant Broussard) and Silly (Matthew Guidry), to the Queen, but who would have done that? No one likes the Queen. The answer is revealed when Sir Pompous (Michael Herpin) opens the box, which turns out to be an enchanted mirror (Rachel Lacroix) sent by the Queen’s sister, Witch Wicked (Vanessa Benoit). 

Of course the mirror divulges to the Queen that Snow White, not her, is the fairest beauty in the land, and the Queen contrives to kill the princess. To do so, she plans a picnic and orders Pompous to lure Snow White into the woods and kill her.

Unfortunately, Pompous, who sets fleas from the royal dog loose rather than killing them, is unable to do the deed and agrees to allow Snow White to flee deep into the woods while telling the Queen that he has in fact killed her.

Enter Witch Wicked, who needs a favor because her powers are waning. Namely, she needs “the locket from the pocket of the princess that is pure,” the locket having been given to Snow White by her mother and being the only thing she has left of her mother’s. Wicked threatens the Queen with the ominous but mysterious spell No. 33.

All of this is happening while the Prince (Hunter Jon Lambert) is looking for his fair princess.

Meanwhile, back in the forest, Snow White stumbles across the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs, who are hard workers, but completely unable to care for themselves.

At this point, the audience should be warned that there are not seven dwarfs and that repeated counting is only distracting and will not change the situation. Rather, there are six dwarfs and a mouse. 

That’s right. Six dwarfs, Keeper (Michaela Jabusch), Sweeper (Ellie Doré), Cutter (Corrine Doucet), Grinder (Claire Hebert), Picker (Caroline Swilley) and Packer (Lorin Swilley); and one mouse (Zach Wright).

The dwarfs and the mouse agree that Snow White, who will help them cook and clean, can stay.

At the castle, the Queen has decided that she must ask her sister Wicked for help obtaining the locket, and Wicked responds by casting the dreaded spell No. 33, turning the Queen into a Hag (Megan Borne). Wicked then proceeds to make a sleeping potion that should knock Snow White out long enough for the locket to be retrieved.

As the dwarfs (and mouse) leave for work the next morning, they repeatedly warn Snow White not to talk to strangers, not to open the doors and windows and not to take anything from strangers.

Snow White is unable to keep her promise when she hears the Hag calling for help, and runs out to assist the old woman. The Hag rewards her with an apple – tainted with sleeping potion – and when she takes a bite, she passes into unconsciousness.

Alas, there is no time for the Hag to get the locket, as the dwarfs return home from the mines. The dwarfs take Snow White inside and lay out her body. They also nab the “search party” – consisting of Pompous, the mirror and the three ladies in waiting, who have convinced themselves that they are cool and confident  – that has come from the castle to rescue Snow White.

While everyone is mourning, the Prince enters and finds his unconscious love. When he bends to kiss her, she awakens.

In the end Wicked loses her powers because she did not get the locket in time, the Queen is stuck as a Hag and Snow White is crowned as queen.

The play closes with the cast reminding everyone in song that, “You’re the mirror of every deed you do!”

The entire cast of the play is extremely talented, and their voices are amazing. They also appear to have no qualms sacrificing their bodies for their art, as they fearlessly throw themselves to the ground when called for.

Sydney Borne has the perfect voice for an evil queen, and her song about how much she loves nature – the smell of skunks, rotting tree trunks and warthogs – will delight the audience. 

Generally speaking, it is funny when humans portray inanimate objects, and Rachel Lacroix’s performance as the sharp-tongued enchanted mirror is no exception.

The fact that one must speak to the mirror in rhyme only adds to the hilarity, as the other characters are forced to come up with some 50-cent words in the process.

Zach Wright is an excellent young comedic actor, and his role as the mouse gives him a chance to practice his physical comedy. With mice being unable to speak (in a world where mirrors apparently can), he is forced to find alternative measures to convey his messages. 

As the Prince, Hunter Jon Lambert is oustanding, not just because he brings his usual quality performance, but because he brings visible joy to the production, as well.

The standout, however, may be Vanessa Benoit as Wicked. She seems to be a natural on the stage, and she does funny just as well as she does wicked. Her confidence and talent make her performance outstanding.

The play is being directed by Leah Dailey, a senior at Notre Dame who has been active in theater since elementary school and involved with the Notre Dame Players all four of her years at the school.

The stage crew includes heads Rachel Fogleman and Taylor Haure, assistant heads Caroline Wild and Grace Doucet and staff members Delainie Dunagan, Hans Prevost and Amy Boudreaux.

The committee chairs are Jennifer Burleigh, property; Estelle Fontenot, hair; Katelyn Miller, makeup; Peyton Zaunbrecher, costume; and Caroline Wild, advertising.

The students have been working together since August of last year to make this production a good one, and under the leadership of faculty member Steve Fontenot, with the assistance of vocal coach David Medus and pianist Susan Comeaux, they have done just that. 

The production will begin at 7 p.m. on the evenings of Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and may be purchased by visiting www.thegrandoperahouseofthesouth.org online or by calling 783-3519.

The Grand Opera House of the South is located at 505 N. Parkerson Ave. in Crowley.

 

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