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Fringe NYC 2015

The Commedia Rapunzel

The Spaghetti and Meatball Players

Genre: Children's Theatre

Venue: The Theatre at the 14th Street Y


Low Down

Not your average fairytale. A modern twist on Rapunzel in a Commedia del Arte (Traditional vaudevillian Italian street theatre style).


It’s a fairytale. It’s children’s theatre. It’s a story we know by heart.

It could be so predictable, but it’s not. Full of surprising plot-twists and a laugh a minute, this fresh retelling of Rapunzel is not your average fairytale.

It’s easy to phone it in and sprinkle it with cheese when dealing with a well-known children’s story. Instead, The Spaghetti and Meatball Players’ The Commedia Rapunzel is deep, connected, bright, fresh, and genuine. Just like children’s theatre should be. Their retelling of this classic tale is full of jokes on all levels — from farts to Shakespeare — and they are sure to leave you rolling with laughter in the aisles (like a meatball, of course!)

As the play begins we meet the players who introduce themselves in bright costume (Costume Design by Angela Borst), traditional Commedia style make-up and masks, bold Italian accents, and larger-than-life personalities. They are filled with a sense of child-like wonder and its contagious.

There were no weak links in this show. The cast was perfectly in tune with their characters, their cast-mates, and their production. Working with the Commedia del Arte style, they perfectly combine these ages old traditions with modern entertainment styles taking plenty of time for dance breaks and perfectly choreographed musical theatre spoofs. 

In this version of Rapunzel, things aren’t always as they seem. (Think a modern spin on Fractured Fairytales from Rocky and Bullwinkle) As we journey through far-off lands like Kentucky and Hoboken, Rapunzel’s not-so-bright but oh-so-funny beginnings unfold. 

The show’s creator, Sam LaFrange, put his heart and soul in to all aspects of the production – so full of light, humor and like all good fairytales — a moral that sticks. Rapunzel isn’t really rescued from the tower, she doesn’t marry the prince, the witch isn’t really evil, and everyone still lives happily ever after…and they learn to be themselves and not judge others. 

The perfect fairytale retelling for kids, parents, and lost millenials. Rapunzel is definitely one to see. So do your own thing, sing as loud as you want to, have faith in kindness, see this show,  and most of all (as Rapunzel says) be weird.