'Hansel and Gretel' comes to SSC stage

2014-01-06T00:00:00Z 'Hansel and Gretel' comes to SSC stageFor The Times nwitimes.com
January 06, 2014 12:00 am  • 

SOUTH HOLLAND | The Children’s Theatre Company of South Suburban College is back with a variation of the Grimm classic, "Hansel and Gretel" by Michele L. Vacca.

Performances will take place in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on SSC’s Main Campus at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Jan. 11 and 18. Additional weekday performances will take place at 9:45 and 11:30 a.m. each day, Jan. 13 through 17.

Hansel and Gretel live on the edge of a huge, dark, forest with their stepmother and father. They are very poor and have no food. Stepmother (Sandy Wagner, of Lansing) sends Hansel and Gretel (Brendon Smelko, of Munster, and Catherine Hundt, of Thornton) deep into the woods to pick strawberries for their supper. The children have heard stories of a mysterious witch who lives in the forest. They only partially believe them to be true, until they become lost and actually meet her.

Madame Hagatha Grundilly Sweetbriar (Wendy Spencer, of Beecher) is the zaniest witch anyone could ever hope to encounter. Accompanied by her two apprentices, Dizzy Weirdeena (Angela Martin, of Midlothian) and Rasputin Machiavelli Vampiro III (Pat Nevins, of Homewood), she lures Hansel and Gretel to her delectable gingerbread house in the heart of the forest. There she holds them captive, threatening to bake them into gingerbread.

One day while the witch is off haunting, the children's father arrives (Eric Pradelski, of South Holland), searching for them. Dizzy and Rasputin decide to help their father save Hansel and Gretel.

Will Madame Hagatha bake the children into gingerbread or will their father be able to rescue them? Only the narrator (Paul Braun, of Lansing) knows for sure.

The play is directed by Lansing resident and Kindig Performing Arts Center manager Ellie Shunko. Set design is by Dean Scalzitti, of Hegewisch. Lighting design is by Lydia Bellamy-Palma, of Park Forest, and Tina Drechny, of Westmont. The costume designer is Joanna Tassin, of Park Forest, with stage management by Dominic Bellamy-Palma, of Park Forest. Heather Young, of Burnham, is designing the props for the production.

"Hansel and Gretel" is suitable for young and old alike. Tickets are $5 each, and group rates are available. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the 24/7 box office voicemail line at (708) 210-5741 or email boxoffice@ssc.edu. Reservations for weekday performances are required as many shows are already sold out.

South Suburban College is at 15800 S. State St., between Sibley Boulevard and 159th Street. Free parking is available.

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