Review: ‘Snow White’ at NextStop Theatre Company

Adapted from the Brothers Grimm classic, originally published in 1812, NextStop Theatre’s current family-friendly production of Snow White is by no means an untold story. Yet, this version by Kyle Encinas, with music and lyrics by Alyssa Wilden, breathes new life into the old tale, making Snow White a relevant and inspirational story that will resonate with today’s young audiences, while reinforcing the power of dreaming big.

Emily Marsh, Amber A. Gibson, Steven Soto, and Mahlon Raoufi. Photo by Traci J. Brooks Studios.

Emily Marsh, Amber A. Gibson, Steven Soto, and Mahlon Raoufi. Photo by Traci J. Brooks Studios.

Encinas’ Snow White is more of a rebellion than a fairytale. Each character struggles with their role and what is expected of them in the story. Ultimately, they must each decide whether they want to be a supporting character in someone else’s life, or the leading role in their own.

The show is fast-paced and hilariously packed with witty dialogue and wild brawls. Kristen Pilgrim directed the production and, along with Scenic Designer Jack Golden, created a simple forest scene with movable tree stumps that worked well for the constant action and numerous transitions.

Playing Snow White is the beautiful and spunky Emily Marsh. She may be a pretty princess but she has a mind of her own and knows what she wants. Or rather, knows what she doesn’t want, which is to be valued only for her looks.  Snow White starts out to be a happily ever after, Prince rescues the Princess, love at first sight story. But, if Snow has her way, she will be the one doing the rescuing.

Amber Gibson plays the Evil Queen (as well as Snow’s mother and two of the dwarves), who is obsessed with being the most beautiful in the land, or so the story goes. Gibson gives an excellent performance as the reluctant villain, destined to destroy Snow White for the sake of her own vanity.

Joshua Redford is charming as the manipulative story-teller. The lute wielding minstrel is determined to see the fairytale through to the end as originally written and doesn’t care whose dreams he has to squash to get his way.

The Prince, the Huntsman, two of the dwarves, and several other parts are played by Mahlon Raoufi. Raoufi’s hesitant Prince is adorable and funny, creating a nice contrast to the spirited Snow.

Steven Soto plays the remaining suitors, dwarves, and wild animals, and hilariously sprints from one role to the next with speedy costume changes (Costume Design by Kristina Matin). Soto is at his funniest when playing the enlightened dwarf, Harold. The dream-like sequences between Soto’s Harold and Marsh’s Snow, with the help of some perfectly timed lighting designed by Sean Cox, are the physical and comical high points of the show.

Snow White is a surprisingly fun-filled action/comedy (think less Disney romance and more Kung Fu Panda) that all children are sure to enjoy, with magic, music, great chases, and witty banter that will have the adults laughing too!

Joshua Redford. Photo by Traci J. Brooks Studios.

Joshua Redford. Photo by Traci J. Brooks Studios.

NextStop Theatre’s production teaches that creating your own path is hard work, but is always worth the trouble when you’re trying to live to your full potential. Take the whole family to see Snow White – this classic tale turned epic adventure – and celebrate the joy of following your dreams.

Running Time: One hour, with no intermission.

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Snow White plays through April 24, 2016 at NextStop Theatre-269 Sunset Park Drive, in Herndon, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 481-5930, or purchase online, or by calling the box office at (703) 481-5930.

RATING:  FIVE-STARS-82x1555.gif

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