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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Twist on Fairy Tales at Carte Blanche Studios

Plus: ‘Wicked’ swoops into the Marcus Center

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In a couple of weeks, the wildly popular Wicked, a touring Broadway musical based on the best-selling novel, breezes through the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (through Aug. 8). Inspired by the work of L. Frank Baum, Wicked is an acclaimed musical theater exploration into the darker complexities of fairy tales in our culture. Baum’s original work, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was an attempt to sanitize the darkness of traditional fairy tales. Wicked, on the other hand, takes Baum’s sanitized wonder and bleeds some traditional darkness into it.

Days before Wicked opens in the heart of the theater district, local talent will be toiling away on a somewhat similar project as the newly formed Sparkling Orange Soda Productions premieres The Wolf, The Princess and The Revolver on July 9 at Carte Blanche Studios.

A dark comedy by Dominic Michael Lentz and Jackie Benka, The Wolf, The Princess and The Revolver peers into the heart of classic fairy tales as four characters discuss matters in a diner. Jack (a familiar gentleman due to his strange adventure with a few magic beans) holds a conversation with Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin and the Wolf. Each character tries to prove that his or her story is worse than the others’ tales. Looking at the situation from afar, it would seem to be a pretty tough call, so it should be interesting to see the four characters work it out.

Love ignites, hunger calls and things get cleaned at the diner, which will manifest itself on the tiny stage of the Carte Blanche Studios Theatre. The intimate atmosphere should lend itself to an altogether more subtle and nuanced look at the hidden complexities of fairy tales than the one rolling into town a few days later. Running as it does for one weekend only, this will likely be an interesting premiere for the new company.

Sparkling Orange Soda Productions’ The Wolf, The Princess and The Revolver runs July 9-11 at Carte Blanche Studios Theatre, 1024 S. Fifth St.