RAPUNZEL ALONE will be presented live next spring courtesy of the 24th Street Theatre in association with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. But for those of you who can’t wait for the scheduled March 12 through March 19, 2022 production at the Wallis or the March 26 through May 1, 2022 production at the 24th Street Theatre – and especially if you enjoy the creativity of forming your own visuals – RAPUNZEL ALONE offers a preview right now in a fully-produced, stand-alone audio theater recording which you can enjoy for free. What a deal! Beginning 10/1/21, the audio recording will be available online.
Most of us grew up enjoying good old-fashioned fairy tales, and Rapunzel has long been a favorite. But this new and updated version is a sophisticated juggling of the classic fairy tale geared for both children and adults. The time is 1944, and the place is England. It’s the heart of World War II, and bombs are shattering the formerly peaceful existence of Londoners. This is a dangerous time to be in London, and Lettie’s parents are well aware of the peril as both are on the front lines of the conflict. They must make the painful decision to send their 12-year-old daughter to safety by evacuating her to a farm in the bucolic British countryside.
But is Lettie (Feyisola Soetan) ready for this experience? She’s a city born and bred mixed race youngster who has never been away from her parents before. And especially not in a rural, homogenous farming community where she will feel isolated, alone, and forced to cope with new and scary surroundings on the farm owned by the fierce and very independent Ms. Pierce (Rayna Campbell), herself an immigrant from Jamaica. Lettie may just have found her isolated tower as Ms. Pierce chops off Lettie’s locks and demands that she stay away from everyone for miles around. Will her best friends become the aggressive goose Gertrude, five little goslings, and Conrad (Brian Inerfield), the local mailman? This is a lonely, frightening time which may change Lettie forever.
Narrated by award-winning playwright Mike Kenny, RAPUNZEL ALONE captures the spirit of a fairy tale for children and brings it into the twenty-first century at a time when the world is at war with a virus which may prove even more destructive than “guns-blazing” combat. Co-directors Debbie Devine and Jesus Castanos Chima imbue their characters with the mettle and spunk needed to overcome mountainous obstacles. RAPUNZEL ALONE proves that voices alone can encompass each human emotion and propel a story forward as well as one which includes visual cues from real-live people. The voices of each cast member prove beyond a doubt that hearing is a mighty sense which tells a story which make perfect sense. To quote Wallis artistic director Paul Crewes: “We are very pleased to be sharing such a beautiful audio recording as a wonderful preview of the live performance here at the Wallis next year…this project and its approach to the retelling of this classic story are as impressive as the people involved in creating it.”
RAPUNZEL ALONE, the audio recording, is available at no cost online. Live performances are tentatively scheduled at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from 3/12 through 3/19/22 and at the 24th Street Theatre from 3/26 through 5/1/22.