Theatrical Productions Poke Fun At ‘Happily Ever After’
These aren’t your parents’ fairy tales. The Chain Theater in Long Island City will play home to several productions of revisionist fairy tales for kids and adults Jan. 24-Feb. 9.
Pedro Pan is an all-ages production exploring themes of acceptance.
An adult-themed production named “Not Your Mama’s Fairy Tale or: In Real Life Everything Sucks” includes three plays: Little Red, Forever Neverland and Weight of Wishing.
The productions are being presented by the Astoria-based TRUF Theatre Company.
Musical Pedro Pan touches on friendship, family and hope. The production follows Pedro, a young boy from Cuba in 1962, whose parents send him alone to the United States to protect him from mounting danger in revolutionary Havana.
During his journey, Pedro must learn to navigate a new land as a “lost boy” while holding on to his cultural heritage.
The play was inspired by real events. Between 1960 and 1962, more than 14,000 children were sent fro Cuba to Miami to flee upheaval on the island.
“Although the story takes place in 1962, the themes of cultural acceptance and race relations are topics that we still find ourselves dealing with in 2014,” says writer/director Rebecca Aparicio. “We have all experienced being the new kid or dealing with the sense of a lost identity, just like the Lost Boys in Peter Pan. Through our story, kids will see that the answer to adjusting is to be true to yourself.”
The three one-acts comprising “Not Your Mama’s Fairy Tale or: In Real Life Everything Sucks” revisit childhood favorites with a grim twist.
In Little Red an adolescent Little Red Riding Hood discovers what she’s truly looking for on the way to her grandmother’s house: the irresistible Wolf.
Forever Neverland explores what happens when two lost boys never grow up, from atop the ferris wheel at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The play features a foulmouthed Mary Martin (who played Pan in a 1954 stage production of Peter Pan) and Jackson’s famous chimpanzee Bubbles.
Weight of Wishing investigates the myth of happy endings. Set against the backdrop of a lost circus, the play follows Daisy, who has lived her life as though it were a fairy tale only to realize that things don’t always end “happily ever after.”
“There are some not-too-subtle lessons in the play about the lengths to which we go to keep our children safe-or rather, to keep them children,” said Little Red director Paul Urcioli. “And some not-too-subtle things about growing up, becoming experienced, and growing old. If someone sees our play and still needs me to point them out-I’m happy to have them buy me a drink so we can talk all about it.”
Pedro Pan runs at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 1-2 and Feb. 8-9. General admission is $15, and tickets for kids under 12 is $12.
“Not Your Mama’s Fairy Tale or: In Real Life Everything Sucks” will be performed 12 times between Jan. 24 and Feb. 8. For information on show times visit www.thetruf.org. Tickets are $18.
All tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets by calling 1-800-838-3006 or by visiting brownpapertickets.com
The Chain Theater is located at 21-28 45th Road in Long Island City.