By Kelly Kovar
ENNIS – Theatre Rocks! in Ennis presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through May 13. The show opened to a sold-out theatre crowd on Friday night.
The classic tale, retold by Jessie Braham White, was choreographed splendidly by Ennisite Celia Robie and directed by Noelle Carmen. Ms. Carmen, who trained at the Priscilla Beach Theatre of New England and Duxbury Conservatory of Music, is the artistic director of Phoenix Repertory Players. Her directorial contributions at Theatre Rocks! have included “Cinderella,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “The 39 Steps” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
The cast of 28 is headed up by Libby Simmons in the title role of Snow White. Her stage presence and fairy tale beauty makes her a solid choice for the lead, and she carries the show quite well, eliciting the audience’s sympathy and making the oft-told tale both compelling and riveting. Her counterpart is William Harllee as Prince Florimond. Harllee’s commanding presence and talent make him a natural as the prince who rescues Snow White.
A newcomer to Theatre Rocks! in this production is Adrian Arteaga, who is cast as the court chamberlain. Arteaga is a 2009 Ennis High School graduate. As a senior, he won Best Actor in UIL One-Act Play Competition for Zone, District and Area levels. After serving in the Marine Corps, Arteaga is majoring in Performance at the University of Texas Arlington, and is making his first post-high school theatrical appearance at Theatre Rocks! “I am thrilled to be performing again,” said Arteaga. “This is my first time performing in eight years, and I’m hoping it’s the beginning to many more opportunities. Performing is my passion.”
Bringing depth and conflict to the production is Queen Brangomar, played cunningly by Annabel Perry, who always shines in character roles, and her huntsman Berthold, depicted charismatically by Jacob Clinton. The huntsman’s valiant efforts to save his children and Snow White put him at odds with the Queen’s nefarious plans.
Ronin Beaver (Blick) and Ezra Alexander (Quee) win the audience’s love with their charming turns as part of the marvelous troupe of seven dwarfs who shelter Snow White. The sweet segments of comradery, compassion and bravery center the play. The tap-dancing dwarves are a hit with the audience.
Worth special mention is the accomplished Elena Vidrine, appearing as Witch Hex. Ms. Vidrine never disappoints and is delightful as the prickly, yet appealing sprite. Her magical mirror comes to life in the form of the beautiful and ethereal Kelyn Perry, playing the character as a mystical, dancing creature that brings mystery and enchantment to the production.
With the large cast, which includes eight lovely and sweet hand maidens to Snow White, as well as several woodland creatures and the witch’s precious cat (Avalon Beaver), the play’s action and dialogue are quick and entertaining. The set, sound and lighting are overseen by Rebecca Perry and the fantastic costuming is by Debbie Harllee.
Performances continue at Theatre Rocks! at 505 NW Main Street in Ennis through May 13. Season Ticket holders can make reservations to use their passes by calling 972-878-5126. Reservations also can be made online at www.theatrerocks.com.