First Grader Kat Bjorn Interviews the Cast of Columbia Children’s Theatre Commedia Snow White
by Kat Bjorn (with some help from Papa)
Kat’s Papa: Hey folks, technically this isn’t a review of Columbia Children’s Theatre’s latest production, Commedia Snow White (although visit Jasper early next week for just that - a review by Melissa Swick Ellington) but seriously, you have to see this show—even you adults without kids. After all, there’s a dwarf named Truculent. And Paul Lindley II (Punchin) performs several numbers from Cats. And Anthony Harvey (Arlequino) gets stuck in an infinite regress watching himself as The Mirror. And Elizabeth Stepp (Columbine) as that “Really Pale Brunette Girl” does cartwheels around Beth DeHart’s (Rosetta) smoking tan Evil Queen. Also, Julian Deleon (Pantalone) has a Spanish pirate hat that belongs in a Captain Morgan commercial.
Kat Bjorn: Papa, shhh!! I’m starting the interview now.
Papa: Okay, time to turn into a transcriber. Gotta go. Seriously, see this show!
Jerry Stevenson, CCT Artistic Director: How old are you now, Kat? This is like your 30th interview.
Kat: I’m six and a half.
Arlequino : You seem old.
Kat: I’m just tall for my age. Who is your favorite dwarf and why?
Pantalone: Effervescent. No, Truculent.
Punchin: Or did you mean the Disney ones?
Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White): Dopey. He’s got a purple hat.
[Entire Cast ducks.]
Kat: Did you mean Doc?
Kat: If there were an 8th Dwarf, what would his or her name be?
[Kat whispers to Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White).]
Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White): Plumpy?
[Entire Cast exchanges looks with one another.]
Entire Cast: Plumpy.
Evil Queen: Hairy.
Kat: If Snow White wears a yellow dress, why isn’t she Snow Yellow?
[Pause. Laughter ensues.]
Kat: What is Commedia dell’arte?
Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White): Commedia dell’arte is a form of theatre that originated in Italy in the 1500s—
Punchin: [in an outrageous Italian accent] That’s why we have these outrageous Italian accents!
Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White): Ahem. All the characters are stock characters—
Pantalone: We go great with soup!
Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White): Sigh.
Pantalone: I mean, I run the troupe!
Kat: Next question. My Papa said your Commedia dell’arte shows have lots of “ChapStick” comedy. What does that mean?
Really Pale Brunette Girl (aka Snow White): Something to do with Ruby Lip Smackers, I imagine.
Arlequino: Did he mean “slapstick”?
Punchin: I think she knows what she means.
Arlequino: [standing] You minda your own-a business!
Punchin: [standing, grabs Arlequino’s nose] No, you minda your own-a business!
[Arlequino roundhouses Punchin.]
Evil Queen: I think you get the picture.
Kat: Moving right along. What’s the next project for the Spaghetti & Meatball players?
Jerry Stevenson: Commedia Our Town!
Papa: [to himself] Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Jr.
Kat: I don’t remember seeing puppets at the Columbia Children’s Theatre before. What was it like to work with puppets?
Pantalone: Jerry and Jim have been using more and more puppets lately.
Arlequino: Apparently they work for practically nothing and don’t complain about union violations.
Kat: Guess my favorite part of the show.
[Entire Cast spends several hours guessing.]
Punchin: [exhausted] I give up…my excerpt from Godspell?
Kat: When the Evil Queen was on fire. I also liked it when Pantalone came and sat next to me. I tickled him with my magic rose.
[Shameless Plug: Bring $3 so your kid can buy a Magic Rose.]
Kat: Okay, last question. What does the fox say?
Entire Cast: Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! / Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! / Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
Kat: That’s a wrap! Another slice of pizza, please!
Kat Bjorn is a rising first grader who loves Riverbanks Zoo and Fancy Nancy chapter book mysteries—and math, if you can believe it.
Commedia Snow White runs through June 22 with performances at the following dates and times: Saturday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. Sunday, June 15 at 3 p.m.; Friday, June 20 at 8 p.m. (late night date night for grown-ups, with possibly a little more mature humor added in); Saturday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 22 at 3 p.m. There are additional Thursday matinee performances at 10:30 a.m. on June 19, June 26 (sold out), July 10, July 17 and July 24. Tickets are $10 for adult and children 3 and up. Seniors & Military ticket prices are $8. Tickets are $5 for the Saturday 7 p.m. performance. The Columbia Children’s Theatre is located at the Second Level of Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive (corner of Beltline and Forest Drive) - or as they say in Forest Acres, over where the old S&S Cafeteria used to be. Enter the Second Level parking garage walkway and park in Level 2-L for easy access. Call 691.4548 for more information or to reserve tickets for groups. To learn more about Columbia Children’s Theatre , visit http://columbiachildrenstheatre.com/ .