‘Rumple Who?’ at The Bay Theatre Company by Amanda Gunther


A magical fairytale delight in a most fractured fashion comes to the stage at Bay Theatre Company as they present summertime fun for children of all ages with their encore production of Rumple Who? A fun interactive fairytale with rollicking musical numbers and a cast of quirky characters that will keep the children entertained for the duration of the show.

The story of Rumplestiltskin gets a makeover in this jovial production. While the impish fairytale man is crafty and clever, he’s also sprightly. Oh and I almost forgot. He’s very very forgetful. He even forgets his own name! He sets out on a task to make the greedy queen not so greedy and ensure that the King, who likes to whine and not clean his room, falls in love with the miller’s daughter, who may or may not be able to spin straw into gold. It’s a fantastical fun time for all involved.

This show is fantastic for the children. As a grown adult I had a great time. There are jokes that are family appropriate to keep the audience laughing and everything has a little touch of whimsy, from the curtains that change the scene from the woods to the castle, and the drape that goes over the throne with the sign that says ‘this is no longer a throne.’ There are amazing costumes that make the characters look like they peeled straight off the pages of their fairytale book.

Even before the show starts, pianist William Kelley is plinking away to create fun up-beat time-passing tunes to keep the younger members of the audience excited about what is about to happen. And once the show starts these four actors do a sensational job of really keeping the attention of everyone in the audience, even I couldn’t look away.

We have the forgetful Rumplestiltskin (who various among the players but this particular performance was Nathan Cooney) who is a bubbly and quirky jester-like character. His smile never falters and his interaction with the children is extremely entertaining. He, like all the performers in this show, brings the perfect balance of fun theatre and childlike whimsy to this show.

Then there’s the nasty queen (Tiajuana Rountree) who passes gas a lot, and she bellows. She’s the epitome of storybook evil without being scary. She bustles about demanding gold, gold, and more gold! An excellent character portrayal by Rountree really helps move the story along.

And let’s not forget the whining King (again a rotating role- played this performance by Michael Windsor). The best thing about the king is funky-stuff dance moves. And then the Miller’s Daughter (rotating role – Brett Hurt) who has the most beautiful storybook princess voice you’ll ever hear. She does a great job of singing songs about sticks too.

These four characters play so well together on stage you actually feel like you’ve become part of the story book and when they burst into spontaneous song and dance it’s a wonderful feeling that makes you want to do the same. It’s an absolutely fantastic show; designed for children, but great for anyone. Don’t miss your summer fun as you help Rumplestiltskin remember his name!

Running Time: One hour with no intermission.

Rumple Who? plays on Sundays at 11:00am and 2:00pm through August 19, 2012 at The Bay Theatre Company – 275 West Street, in Annapolis, MD. For ticket reservations, call the box office at (410) 268-1333, or purchase them online.

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