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Grinning at Grimm: Hastings High School performs comedic play about Brothers Grimm tales

Kathy Blissenbach (left) and Ash Clark practice the Rapunzel portion of the play "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculation." Blissenbach plays Repunzel's step mother in this scene and later reappears as a narrator and the Magic Mirror in Snow White. Clark plays Rapunzel. Rachel Fergus / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Hope Davis (left) and Trevor Zeyen are the narrators for Hasting High School's winter play. Zeyen also plays a dwarf in "Snow White" and "Cinderella." Rachel Fergus / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The polar vortex, which most people are probably already tired of hearing and talking about, postponed a lot at the end of January, including rehearsals for Hastings High School's winter play. Yet, when the school doors were eventually reopened and students could step outside of their homes without fear of their eyelashes freezing, the 23 high schoolers resumed rehearsing for the school's winter play: "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon."

"The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" is a compilation of numerous stories written (or credited to) the Grimm brothers. Rapunzel, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella and other, more obscure characters and stories, are woven together in this show. This play is unique because most of the actors are "main characters" at least once since a variety of stories are told during the duration of the show. There are some on stage longer than others, but everyone is given the chance to be in the spotlight at least once.

Some students play more than one role. Kathy Blissenbach, for example, rarely leaves the stage. She plays the enchantress/stepmother in Rapunzel, and a narrator and the magic mirror in Snow White.

On Feb. 1, the cast was a little behind schedule with learning lines and being ready for opening night due to cancellation of rehearsals. But, despite the need for line cues and pauses to remember which scenes had been edited, the cast gave the empty auditorium a good show.

"The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" has a very different tone from the last play that Hastings High School presented. This past fall, a group of students performed "All My Sons," a play about family loss, secrets and pain shortly after the end of World War II. Actors Eliana Lawrence, Natalie Shofner and Trevor Zeyen appear in both shows. They show their acting talent by going from serious, dramatic and intense to light, funny and sarcastic. All of the actors in "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" play their parts with the sass and sarcasm that was written into the script. Though cheesy at times, this play ensures a few laughs and an excuse to get out of the Minnesota winter.

If you go...

What: “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon”

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10

Where: Hastings High School auditorium

Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors

 
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