Review: ‘Snow White’ at The Heritage Players

The Heritage Players of Catonsville, MD have created a wonderful production of Snow White, the classic fairytale with a young beauty, an evil Queen, a Magic Mirror, seven dwarves, and a handsome Prince who saves the day. This version, dramatized by J. Michael Straczynski, is narrated by the Magic Mirror and stays true to well-known tale, while adding touches to make the show feel like a new experience.

The show was directed by Kathy McCrory, with lighting and sound by Brad Ranno, and lovely costuming by Robin Trenner. The clever set was designed by Brian Douglas and positioned the Mirror center stage with the Queen’s castle and the dwarves’ home on either side, allowing Mirror to seamlessly guide the audience through the story.

Andrea Bush (The Queen) and John Sheldon (The Mirror). Photo by Becky McCrory.
Andrea Bush (The Queen) and John Sheldon (The Mirror). Photo by Becky McCrory.

John Sheldon plays the Mirror, torn by his duty to always answer what is asked of him truthfully and what he knows to be right. He aides the Prince, charmingly, albeit clumsily, played by Zachary Roth, in besting the evil Queen (Andrea Bush), bent on being the most beautiful in all the land at any cost.

Sheldon and Roth make a fine team, with the Mirror’s knowledge and refinement contrasting the Prince’s helpless awkwardness. Roth’s Prince plays as the unlikely hero, which makes his character all the more endearing, and Bush’s Queen is the perfect antihero, complete with a wicked laugh and dripping sarcasm. Bush struts the stage and speaks with a booming voice, mastering the portrayal of the villain audiences love to hate.

The seven dwarves are delightful and each does a hilarious job of earning their name: Doc (Maggie Walker), Grumpy (London Leyda), Sleepy (Rose Ocone), Happy (Molly Ross), Dopey (Ruby McKerrow), Bashful (Amenah Kitchens), and Sneezy (Veronica King). Walker is the natural leader of the group as Doc and her interactions with Leyda as Grumpy are some of the best moments of the show. Leyda’s comic timing is spot on and her relentless …uh…grumpiness is a treat to watch. I saw the show with my three boys and, while they rarely agree on anything, they all insisted I give a special shoutout to their favorite dwarf, McKerrow’s adorable Dopey.

Snow White (Samantha Sheldon) and The Huntsman/Prince (Zach Roth). Photo by Becky McCrory.
Snow White (Samantha Sheldon) and The Huntsman/Prince (Zach Roth). Photo by Becky McCrory.

At the center of the story is Snow White, played by Samantha Sheldon.  Sheldon is sweet and innocent and makes it easy to believe that the young Prince would fall in love with her so quickly. The two happen across each other in the woods and have a very natural chemistry together. Mirror describes Snow White as possessing a beauty of the heart and mind that surpasses all in the land and Sheldon portrays the idea flawlessly.

Also in the cast are Emily Lambert, who plays the Young Princess that the evil Queen transforms into in her first of three attempts to trick Snow White, and Rachael Kelly, who plays the Witch and the Old Peasant Woman transformations of the Queen.

L to R: Bashful (Amenah Kitchens), Sleepy (Rose Ocone), Sneezy (Veronica King), Happy (Molly Ross), Grumpy (London Leyda), Dopey (Ruby McKerrow), and Doc (Maggie Walker). Photo by Becky McCrory.
L to R: Bashful (Amenah Kitchens), Sleepy (Rose Ocone), Sneezy (Veronica King), Happy (Molly Ross), Grumpy (London Leyda), Dopey (Ruby McKerrow), and Doc (Maggie Walker). Photo by Becky McCrory.

The Heritage Players have put on an excellent production of the timeless tale, Snow White. My boys had smiles on their faces throughout the entire show. The show is suitable for the all ages and, with an outstanding cast and a strong production team, the experience is sure to be a hit for the whole family.

Running Time: 60 minutes, with one 10-minute intermission.

Snow White plays through August 21st, 2016 at The Heritage Players performing at The Thomas Rice Auditorium – 55 Wade Avenue, in Catonsville MD. For tickets, purchase them at the door or online.

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