Rapunzel: The Extension Edition (3 Little Bears Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Rapunzel and Prince Gorgeous in love

Is it weird that I’m considering having kids purely so I can see more Toronto FringeKids! shows like Rapunzel: the Extension Edition by 3 Little Bears Productions? I need a mini-human so I can have a steady date.

This is the classic Rapunzel fairy tale that parents grew up on and today’s kids know, too. Poor Rapunzel (Olivia Jon) is locked in a tower by a wicked witch (Isabel Hornstein). In this case, the witch is a little more silly than scary, and safe for little audiences.

When a frog (Cayla Bekk) hops in Rapunzel’s window one day, they begin to form a plan to help Rapunzel escape. Of course, it’s a fairy tale, so that means there’s a prince (Scott McNabney), some songs and dances, and the mandatory happy ending.

What I liked about the show was that it’s a fun time – it’s summer, so kids want to be entertained, not to feel like they’re back at school. Rapunzel: the Extension Edition delivers on that, as it’s entertaining without being moralistic. I also liked the sidekick characters, Bekk’s frog and Donnie Langley’s crow, who help our main characters along and provide much of the comedy. Langley’s little ballad about his life before the Wicked Witch was my favourite musical number.

The kids in the audience seemed to be really into the show, if their rapt attention was any indication. I also want to commend any actors who can perform in a kid’s show and not lose focus with all of the adorable kid comments and giggles throughout the performance! I read that this particular version of the play was written more than 40 years ago, yet all of the jokes hold up well for the iPhone-weened generation.

Being in the non-breeder category, it had never really occurred to me to attend a FringeKids! show on my own before, and I have to admit that I enjoyed the show more than I thought I would. FringeKids! makes for a great way to entertain your little ones during the summer, but it’s pretty entertaining for us big people, too.

 

Details:

Rapunzel: the Extension Edition plays at the Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston Avenue (near Bathurst and Bloor).

The show is 60 min., and appropriate for children 3-12.

Show times:
July 05 at 02:00 PM
July 07 at 04:00 PM
July 08 at 02:00 PM
July 09 at 05:30 PM
July 11 at 11:15 AM
July 12 at 05:30 PM
July 13 at 01:30 PM

Tickets for FringeKids productions are $10 for adults, $5 for those 12 or younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash-only), or can be purchased in advance for a $2 service charge either online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West).
Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo of Olivia Jon and Scott McDabney, provided by company.