Rumpelstiltskin Revisited | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Rumpelstiltskin Revisited

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Rumpelstiltskin Revisited, Lifeline Theatre. Guy J. Jackson's saucy adaptation for children five to eight puts a socialist spin on the Rumpelstiltskin story. Here Rumpelstiltskin (Daniel Hickey, who, like the other two actors, plays a variety of roles) is a spoiled boy living in fairy tale Germany whose mother buys him whatever he wants. He grows up to be a mean, spoiled adult who gets pleasure out of stamping on accordions and setting hay bales on fire. On one of his forays into the castle to steal stuff from the queen (Cathleen Bentley), he meets Lilie (Jenn SavaRyan), a poor girl with a strong back and incredible domestic skills. In fact her proud father tells the queen that Lilie can bake pies into diamonds.

Rumpelstiltskin helps Lilie--though in Lifeline's ending, she helps him more. Many of the jokes, like the one about how rich people buy huge wagons (read: SUVs) that gobble up all the horses (read: oil) will fly over the heads of young ones but should amuse like-minded grown-ups. Children, however, will certainly understand the theme: friendship and love are important, and adults are just silly. Designers Sara C. Walsh (set), Kevin Gawley (lights), and Scotty Iseri (sound) add a touch of magic with their spooky woods, and Jane Bagnall's costumes are jauntily Bavarian.

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