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Off-Off-Broadway Review

Grimm

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Grimm

Mashing up “Rumpelstiltskin” and “Hansel and Gretel,” composer-lyricist Ken Kruper’s “Grimm” is a junior league “Into the Woods.” Despite occasional theatrical flourishes, this 50-minute foray into folk tales is likely to appeal mainly to tykes. Its references to parenting and forbearance don’t muster the sophistication necessary for a longer shelf life.

 

Unhelpful is the unintelligibility of the lyrics, thanks to a zealous sound system that elicited a number of overheard audience complaints. The eager cast features old-college-try ensemble performances. More accomplished are Gina Cucci and Theresa Burns, as rival sisters; Jake Bridges, as a Faustian meddler; Kathleen Foster, as a factotum; and Sierra Marcks, as a dignified Gretel. Best of all is Grant Bowen, as a plucky Hansel, who socks across one of the best songs, “My Sister, the Queen.” Olivia Hartle’s direction gives truth to a line from the show: “Things are looking awfully grim.”

 

Presented by Big Theatre Company as part of the New York International Fringe Festival atHereArtsCenter,145 Sixth Ave., NYC, Aug. 11–22. Remaining performances: Thu., Aug. 16, 5:15 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 17, 4 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 22, 2 p.m. (866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org.

Critic's Score: C-

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