The Drama Club of Cardozo Middle School staged a different version of a familiar Brothers Grimm story, complete with dwarves, enchanted forest animals, an Evil Queen and young princess.
Snow White was performed on the stage in the school’s multi-purpose room on Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2.
But it wasn’t the familiar Disney version. This adaptation was from playwright Tim Kelly, a prolific author and journalist. It contained most of the familiar references.
All the old friends were there — the lovely Princess, played by Scarlett Freshwater, the mischievous Dwarfs, all seven of them, but with different names. The Prince was there, played by Christian Pineda, the Huntsman, played by Navjyot Narula, and, of course, the Evil Queen, played by Kate Tigert.
In addition, there were the hilarious palace Cat, played by Riley Thacker, and the Enchanted Vixen, played by Ella Holliday. In this version, the Magic Mirror not only talks — it walks, and was played by Leigh Viera.
Of course, the audience shivered and shook as the scheming Queen transformed herself into various personalities like Esmeralda, the young gypsy, and a withered crone so horrible even the Queen herself was terrified. Don’t forget that poisonous apple that was waiting for the heroine.
An interesting feature of this Cardozo production was the transitions between the three different incarnations of the Evil Queen throughout the evening.
She started out portrayed in her evilness by Kate Tigert. As she plots to do in Snow White, she transforms into a young girl, Esmerelda, who was played by Elin Medina. After changing back, she becomes an Evil Crone, played by Regan Davidson.
Another interesting bit of staging was the scene where Prince Robert revives Snow White, who has been poisoned by the Evil Crone’s apple. A tricky bit of sleight of hand kept the audience from seeing if the prince and Snow White actually kissed, with the prince hiding behind his cap. It was, after all, a Middle School production.
According to his representatives, Dramatic Publishing, in Woodstock, Illinois, Tim Kelly (1931-1998) was “one of our finest and most prolific” playwrights.
Information from the publicist goes on to say: “His first stage mystery was published in the 1960s—at the same time he had plays opening in Boston, New York and Hamburg. Since then, he kept up a steady flow of works for stage and screen stage, including adaptations of M*A*S*H and Murder by Natural Causes.”
During his life, Kelly received countless honors for his playwriting including seven major university awards as well as grants from the Office of Advanced Drama Research, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Broadcasting Company and the Nederlander Production Company.
A former screen and television writer, drama critic and journalist, Kelly is particularly noted for the broad scope of his work which covers everything from mysteries to musicals to serious drama.
In 1995, Tim Kelly was elected a member of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He died suddenly in 1998, of a brain hemorrhage, at the age of 61, his publishers note, and while his presence is missed, his memory lives on in the many plays that continue to have great success.