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A kids' show that's cool for parents, too, in a subterranean wedding cake of a theater

Wednesday, Jan 19 2005
The Children's Theatre Association of San Francisco gives the well-known yarn about a girl with exceedingly long locks a new sheen with its romping musical adaptation of Rapunzel, staged in the Legion of Honor's gorgeous subterranean wedding cake of a theater. With its gender stereotyping -- a frilly pink dress and squeaky voice for the generously tressed damsel in distress, and a feathered cap, black boots, and swagger for her handsome prince -- and tidy moral messages, this production presents, in some ways, a traditional retelling of the Grimm fairy tale. But the fizzy book and lyrics by David Crane and Marta Kauffman (an interesting departure for the Emmy Award-winning writing duo behind the Friends television series), composer Michael Skloff's toe-twirling tunes, and quirky performances by CTA's strong-voiced ensemble ensure that the cobwebby one-liner "Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair" isn't a letdown. In fact, some of the jokes play as well to adults as they do to children. From a vegetarian witch (played alternately by Suzy Cronholm and Susan Pelosi) who wears too much hair spray and enjoys turning little boys into Brussels sprouts with her magic ring to a love duet with the tongue-in-cheek refrain "Me, my hair, and I," CTA's show is a scalp-tickling experience.

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Chloe Veltman


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