With a nod to "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," Randall Theatre Company spoofs "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "Cinderella."
"Fractured Fairy Tales" was a segment of the animated television series — known as "Rocky & His Friends" during its first two seasons and "The Bullwinkle Show" for the remainder of its run — that aired from 1959 to 1964 on networks ABC and NBC. The segment, narrated by actor Edward Everett Horton, featured classic fairy tales told in comic fashion, with altered story lines and unexpected characterization and plot developments.
What: "Fractured Fairy Tales"
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, July 20-22 and July 27-29; curtain is at 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays
Where: Randall Theatre, 10 E. Third St., Medford
Call: 866-967-8167 or see www.randalltheatre.com for reservations
Randall Theatre's production of "Fractured Fairy Tales" offers a mash-up of ideas inspired by the television segment and anonymous stories available online.
Shows are set for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, July 20-22 and July 27-29. Curtain is at 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays at the Randall Theatre, 10 Third St., Medford.
"We looked for scripts, but there just wasn't anything that was funny enough," says Randall's Artistic Director Robin Downward. "We took parts from 'Fractured Fairy Tales' and married them with funny versions of traditional tales. We chose 'Goldilocks' and 'Cinderella' because these are stories everyone knows."
The stories took on additional spins when Director Nick Walker expanded on their humorous aspects. Walker was in the cast of Randall's production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" in March and "Just Cause" in May.
"I would liken the humor to the Marx Brothers," Downward says. "The show is immature in its visibility, but mature in its subtext. There are sight gags and plays on words."
Randall retells the story of "Cinderella" as a stage production with an entire cast coming down with food poisoning just moments before curtain. As an ambulance rushes the stricken cast to a hospital, the theater's technical staff — none with any acting experience — must go on with the show.
"Chaos, slapstick and stage asides ensue," Walker says. "We're taking classic fairy tales and giving them more than a little twist."
What happens when Goldilocks is put on trial for breaking and entering?
"The story gets turned on its head," Walker says. "We also throw in a lot of nods and winks to pop culture."
In "Cinderella," there is one rather indirect acknowledgement of Horton, Walker says. When the director is forced to narrate the show after the actors become sick, he puts on a thin smile and is overdramatic.
"Throughout the rehearsal process, we were coming up with ideas that would crack us up. The pieces lend themselves to improvisation."
Improvisational theater seems to be one of the things that Randall is good at.
"It's a small theater," Walker says. "Improvisation humanizes the actors and creates a welcoming environment for audiences. I think it's the biggest strength of the Randall Theatre."
Admission to all shows is pay-what-you-want. Call 866-967-8167 or see www.randalltheatre.com for reservations.