Published in 2007 and written by playwright Don Zolidis The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon quickly became a staple among high school and community theatre groups. The play is noteworthy for its comedic interweaving of both well-known and obscure Brothers Grimm fairy tales such as Cinderella and The Devil’s Grandmother, its audacious smashing of the fourth wall, and its lively incorporation of audience interaction.
The production’s greatest boons were its high energy, strong characterization, and cohesive ensemble work by all students involved. From characters with one line to the principal roles, nearly every actor took advantage of their stage time, creating distinct and memorable characters. The actors also incorporated the audience in an effective and non-distracting manner.
Sydney Bladen and Frankie Sobel were delightful as Narrators 1 and 2, respectively. Both helped keep the sometimes frenetic production grounded and offered an ever-present and humorous backbone to the production. The pair was effective both as a cohesive ensemble and as individual actors. Bladen created a wildly enthusiastic, mildly oafish, and oddly endearing character and often had to be reigned in by Sobel’s more focused, but still lovably charming demeanor.
Several featured actors gave admirable performances in their roles as the Brothers Grimm fairy tale characters. Diego Ruiz Osorio was a standout as the Prince and the Devil. His lovable, enchanting portrayal of the Devil would make anyone want to make a deal with him. As the charming and handsome Prince, Osorio made it certain that the audience would fall in love with him along with Rapunzel. Richard Culp’s characterization of the impressionable Hansel hilariously implored his sister to succumb to peer pressure. Sydney Bladen was simultaneously humorous and harrowing as the archetypal Enchantress. Armed with a vendetta against the patriarchal constraints of society and devotion to new wave feminism, Bladen’s portrayal of the oft-maligned Enchantress offered a new, comical twist on why she is so protective of Rapunzel.
All of the student actors gave laughable performances in their roles and provided a wonderful night of entertainment. The outlook was anything but grim on Wasatch Academy’s awesomely offbeat production of The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.