ECT Team Puts New Spin on Old Tales

BRISTOL — It’s worth taking a trip to the Bristol Opera House this weekend to check out what’s bright and new on the theatrical horizon via Elkhart Civic Theatre. The vehicles of choice here are two one-act fantasies — “Brothers Grimm: Out of Order” and “Rapunzel” — presented by the ECTeam Youth Theatre, a program of shows for young people produced and performed by young people which, incidentally, is a delightful hour and a half (plus intermission) for the entire family.

xBoth pieces are definitely not David Mamet or even Neil Simon but the premise — take familiar fairy tales (or tale) and give them a new twist  — as detailed by a definitely engaging cast of players, is presented with assurance and pizzazz (LOVED the Glumpwarts in “Rapunzel,” skritchy, squeeky sidekicks of the villainess, Witch Izwitch) and the “Out of Order” banter of the Director (TV) and Producer (stage) and playwrights Will (Disney) and Jake Grimm (Tarantino) as well as the definite diva-ship of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Gretel and Jorinda. “Out of Order” is set in a school where the theater program hangs on the success of the production (that the judging principal is named Guffman tells a lot to Christopher Guest fans). “Rapunzel,” which takes place in the Kingdom of Ain’t, sticks more closely to the familiar tale of the girl in the tower with the super long hair. But there are enough twists to keep you laughing. (Spoiler: She is saved by the scientific prince whose claim to fame is growing hair on an egg. You figure it out.) Under the direction of Annette Kaczanowski and assistant director Scott Fowler, the 30-plus cast members are articulate and audible (a problem even with adults), do a good job of maintaining their kooky characters, never an easy assignment, and most definitely  are having a good time. There is no doubt the audience will, too.

“BROTHERS GRIMM: OUT OF ORDER”/”RAPUNZEL” will be presented at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Bristol Opera House. For tickets, 848-4116 between 1 and 5;30 p.m. today and at the box office.

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