Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Queen at Young Centre for the Perfomring Arts

Went to see The Snow Queen last night at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Treat yourself. I remember this Hans Christian Andersen tale as one of the scariest that i heard as a child. There was something about the transformation of the boy as he fell under the Snow Queen's spell that terrified me. Alon Nashman is much more than what the program note of "Narrator" implies. Alon narrates, dramatizes, exhorts, thrills, enchants, even dances the story. Though there is also the ethereal (and kinda creepy) dancing of the Snow Queen, performed by Kate Alton, that arrests the eyes whenever she is on stage. And then there's the string quartet's unsettling score which matches the story perfectly. I had mostly forgotten the tale and, though enchanted by Andersen as a kid, i have mostly left his stories behind. But a few have marked me, as powerful stories will. And i was impressed with this story once again, though this time what moved me most was the dedication and courage of the wee heroine who refuses to give up on her best friend. As i watched the faces of the wee girls that accompanied me to the play along with a 14 year old boy, my sister and my wife, i could see the power of story and theatre touch their hearts and minds. Though my six-year old step-daughter spent a good deal of the show in my lap, hands over ears, with her head turned away from the stage only to steal glances every few seconds as she was caught by the tale. If you're a storyteller or fancy becoming one, then go see this play. If you have kids (7 or 8 and up is best) take them and share this magic. Or if you simply want to be touched by the ancient magic of storytelling clothed in elegance, go see this play. It runs until December 15th. Just click on the link above for the show info.

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