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  Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass at 24th Street Theatre

Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass

24th Street Theatre
1117 West 24th Street Los Angeles

A new version of the classic story set in depression-era Kentucky narrated by Bradley Whitford (in a special video performance) and featuring the rollicking bluegrass sounds of The Get Down Boys. Multiple award-winning 24th Street Theatre (Walking the Tightrope, Man Covets Bird) specializes in sophisticated theater with emotional depth that appeals to kids as well as adults appropriate for ages 8+.

Thru - May 21, 2017

Price: $10-$24

Show Type: Childrens

Box Office: 213-745-6516

  Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Recommended

"...Driven from their home to fend for themselves, the refugees find a seeming benefactor in the blind Mountain Woman (Sarah Zinsser) with uncanny sensory abilities. As their host's sinister motives are revealed, Hansel and Gretel recognize they can be stronger together when they set aside their mutual animosity."
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Philip Brandes

Broadway World - Recommended

"...HANSEL & GRETEL has always been more than simply a child's story about getting lost in the woods. 24th Street Theatre's HANSEL & GRETEL BLUEGRASS pushes its artful storytelling to new heights with this fresh interpretation sure to resonate with both young people and adults alike."
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Ellen Dostal

Edge - Somewhat Recommended

"...Well-meant, this show needs to be re-thought so that the dramatic situation can be enhanced into real dangers and so that the Mountain Woman doesn't come off as an ephebophile (lover of teenagers). As a witch she should be creepy, but not at that particular level."
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Dale Reynolds

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...In keeping with 24th Street's family-friendly mission, Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass is a show that can be enjoyed by adults, but probably not as much as by kids. The story is very simple, the acting very straightforward, the pitch impossible not to hit. It's a pleasant spectacle, and the action - for the most part - is accessibly theatrical. There is some business around a well that struck me as too facile for a smart show, a problem of egress and ingress solved not quite as creatively as I would have expected of a production years in the making. It doesn't matter much. The kids won't mind."
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Jason Rohrer

LA Splash - Highly Recommended

"...Award-winning Debbie Devine directs this gritty fantasy with an eye towards the underlying meaning in such a tale - the abandonment of children in the hopes that they will find a better life somewhere else. The talented cast members manage to turn fairy tale events into harsh reality. Keith Mitchell's set is eerily real, while Matthew G. Hill's video design allows scenes to shift effortlessly. Michael Mullen's costumes, Chris Moscatiello's sound, Dan Weingarten's lighting, and Megan Swan's music direction combine to make this a play that will grip and intrigue."
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Elaine L. Mura

On Stage Los Angeles - Highly Recommended

"...24th Street has a long reputation for excellence and trying new things, especially to the benefit of the neighborhood and theatre aimed at children, but with an eye to have a story for adults at the same time. This is a show for the entire family and deserves an audience. I am unsure how long free admission will be offered, but donations to the theatre are always welcome."
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Michael Sheehan

Gia on the Move - Highly Recommended

"...Performances by Angela Giarratana as Gretel and Caleb Foote as Hansel are endowed with a naievity that is absolutely darling. Sarah Zinsser as the mountain woman (witch) layers a downright menacing dimension. Bradley Whitford as radio announcer "The Duke" rounds out this production with hillbilly levity that is pure fun, captivating and compassionate. Whiteford's voice resonates empathy far beyond the structure."
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Tracey Paleo

KCRW - Not Recommended

"...All of this makes Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass a strangely unsatisfying journey. I felt a bit stuck in a dark forest where you're dad might abandon you, a witch might deceive you, and where sharing your song might imprison you. I'm all for trusting children to sort through a complicated moral landscape. I'm just not sure why 24th Street wants to tell this story to children and adults right now. And it feels like they aren't exactly sure either."
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Anthony Byrnes

Night Tinted Glasses - Highly Recommended

"...Listing all the wonderful ways this play and production explores and creates it world could take a lot longer than anyone wants to read. Suffice to say, the dread and danger rises to Hansel and Gretel's souls--echoed in no small part by the sounds (Chris Moscatiello) and music (Megan Swan), the latter capturing that melancholy sense of courage and emotions so perfect in part through the Get Down Boys. In the end, instead of the overt oven and cages of the folk tale we get a trap of the mind, coupled with a fiercely cold danger in a rainy night in the mountains, as two children end up defending themselves from a knife-wielding blind woman. What happens next? We do not know. That, it seems, is another tale--and to paraphrase a novelist "while life goes on, this chapter has come to its end." And I applauded with a lot of enthusiasm."
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Zahir Blue

Stage Raw - Highly Recommended

"...The performances are resolutely good. Zinsser perfectly channels the creepy deportment of the folklorist's conjurer, while Foote and Giarratana project a subtly effective yin and yang polarity. Director Debbie Devine has masterfully worked the production elements here to evoke an ambiance that is fairy-tale mysterious and alluring. Matthew G. Hill's muted video projections, Keith Mitchell's cutout set piece - which morphs between woods and cavern - Dan Weingarten's multi-hued lighting, and Chris Moscatiello sound design all flawlessly blend. And it's all richly complemented by the funky bluegrass tunes of the four-member band, The Get Down Boys."
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Lovell Estell III

Theatre Notes - Highly Recommended

"...Fairy tales are filled with all kinds of horrors. Cinderella's stepsisters' bloody attempts at carving their feet so as to be able to fit into the glass slipper immediately come to mind; so does "Little Red Riding Hood" and the devouring wolf. "Hansel and Gretel" has a different kind of cruelty. In the German original, a woodcutter in a time of famine is persuaded by his second wife to take his children deep into the forest and abandon them to their fates, so that the treacherous couple will have a chance to survive."
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Paul Myrvold

Haines His Way - Recommended

"...The story unfolds as a cautionary tale told on the radio by The Duke (Bradley Whitford in a video cameo appearance). When the father of teenage siblings Hansel (Caleb Foote) and Gretel (Angela Giarratana) loses his job at the company mine, he takes his children on a trek into the wild, telling them relatives in a neighboring county will take care of them until he can get back on his feet."
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Rob Stevens

Capital And Main - Highly Recommended

"...This gender-spiked conflict plays out beautifully under Devine's astute direction. But while the performers are spot-on - Foote and Giarratana especially interact with rhythmic grace -it is the tapestry of light (Dan Weingarten), sound (Christopher (Moscatiello), set (Keith Mitchell), music (the Get Down Boys) and splendid videography (Matthew G. Hill) - the latter a vital visual element of the narrative's progression - that make the piece so memorable."
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Deborah Klugman

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