Resembling a Grimm Fairy Tale ourselves, I led six kids into Manhattan to see Commedia Rapunzel at the SoHo Playhouse. Commedia Rapunzel is a musical (lyrics and book by Sam LaFrage) about the famous long-haired “beauty.” This isn’t your Disney’s Rapunzel though. And I would also say, this isn’t exactly Grimm’s Rapunzel either.
And so begins the difficult task of explaining Commedia Rapunzel.
Commedia Rapunzel is a play within a play. The show begins with an Italian acting troupe called “The Spaghetti and Meatball Players” preparing for a stage production of Rapunzel. This ragtag group of performers enters the house, and after a bit of banter, realize they are the ones who are supposed to take the stage. The show drifts back and forth between Rapunzel and the backstage antics of those playing the roles. It’s confusing to explain, but it works.
The kids I brought, ranging in age from 6 months to 11 years, loved the show. Me, too. My 4-year-old loved the moments when he could interact with the performers and my 11-year-old enjoyed the more mature jokes that went over many of the other kids’ heads. My 9-year-old loved the larger-than-life personalities of all the performers. There were many moments when I laughed out loud as well. And kudos to the company for pointing out that Rapunzel may have been better off with someone that wouldn’t trade her for a piece of lettuce.
I’m always looking for ways to get my kids excited about theater. Thankfully, there are shows like Commedia Rapunzel that entertain all the people in my home and inspire them to pursue their own artistic endeavors.
Commedia Rapunzel is a show for all ages. Unfortunately, the shows are only on Saturdays at 11 a.m. so you’ll need to clear one of your precious weekend mornings to be part of the fun. The show runs through the end of March.
The SoHo Playhouse is at 15 Vandam St.