A clumsy prince, a sleepy princess, an evil spell, and a kingdom filling with ducks. "You're probably wondering what is going on here," sings Lord Chamberlain at the top of this fractured fairytale. He tells of a spell cast upon the princess who awakens each morning so exhausted that she sleeps the day away. The king and queen have offered a sizeable reward to anyone who can break the spell; however, those who fail are transformed into ducks. Along comes a prince and his trusted sidekick, who set off on the adventure of their lives to save the princess. Based roughly on "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," Gotta Dance! is a whirling, twirling delight for the whole family.
In the elegant palace of King Varibald and Queen Hapless: the King and Queen, along with their loyal subjects, tell of a mysterious spell cast upon their daughter, Princess Poppy (“What is Happening Here?”). Poppy rises every morning, with her shoes ripped and torn to shreds, so exhausted that she sleeps the day away. The King has offered half of his kingdom to anyone who can solve the mystery of Poppy’s shoes, but so far, no one has succeeded in doing so. Instead, those who fail are turned into ducks.
The Lady Livia, Poppy’s Lady in Waiting tries to encourage Poppy not to waste her days (“Sleepy Princess”), and tells Poppy of all the wonderful things she is missing out on (“There’s A World Out There”).
Along comes Prince Tripsalot (P.T.) and his trusted valet, Valentine, who are journeying to attempt to solve the mystery of Poppy’s shoes (“Noblesse Oblige”).
In the forest…
They come across a terrible wretched beast, trapped in a snare. They set the creature free, and it transforms into the enchantress, Jellahndra the Good. In gratitude for being set free, she gives the two travelers three assists in their quest: cloaks that render them invisible, a magical digital mirror that records images, and a warning not to drink the cocoa. They continue their journey to Varibald’s kingdom, grateful for the assistance and blessing from Jellahndra (“Noblesse – Reprise”).
King Varibald is very discouraged, and tells of his woes about his daughter’s condition ("Shoes"). When P.T. and Val arrive, the King and Queen warn the visitors of the quacky consequences of their task (“Of All the Rotten Luck”). Val ignores the warning because he has been completely taken in by the Lady Livia, who returns the attention. So, P.T. asks the King to explain the rewards if successful, (“Glory and Honor”).
In the bedchamber of Princess Poppy. Poppy’s spell is beginning to take effect, while she and Lady Livia prepare for the night’s event (“Gotta Dance!”). P.T. and Val, determined to solve the mystery, have been sealed up in Poppy’s chamber for the entire evening. Poppy and Livia have a scheme to get the boys to drink drugged hot cocoa (“Don’t Drink the Cocoa”). Having been forewarned, P.T. and Val only pretend to drink. Poppy and Livia (aided by the magical spell) steal out of the castle to a waiting boat. The boys put on their invisibility cloaks and follow.
The group begins to row across a magical lake (“The Magical Lake (Underscore)”). While crossing, the boys collect evidence: pictures with the magical digital mirror, a branch from the silver trees, a diamond nightingale a golden rose, which they hide under their cloaks. The girls finally arrive at the mysterious castle, where a ball is held nightly (“The Ball (Underscore)”). P.T. and Val gather more evidence while Poppy waltzes nonstop throughout the evening.
Early the next morning, King Varibald and Queen Hapless worry whether their daughter will be freed from the spell or doomed to continue under its mysterious curse (“Sleepy Princess (Reprise)”). By noon, all gather in the King’s Court. P.T. and Val arrive and show their evidence to the Court (“The Mystery Solved”). P.T. refuses any reward form a very grateful King and Queen, asking only that he be allowed to remain in the kingdom to get to know Poppy better. Poppy, free of the spell for the first time, accepts, and everyone lives happily ever after (“There’s a World Out There-Reprise (Finale)”).
I’m a grown-up and I love it; it’s written so that parents, as well as their children, will be entertained.
King Varibald – Male, 30s to 50s. The King of the land.
Queen Hapless – Female, 30s to 50s. Varibald’s wife.
Princess Poppy – Female, 15 to early 20s. The King and Queen’s enchanted daughter.
Lady Livia – Female, 20s to 30s. The Princess’s handmaid.
Prince Tripsalot (P.T.) – Male, 20s to 30s. A young and clumsy hero who sets out to save the Princess.
Sir Valentine (Val) – Male, 20s to 30s. The young valet and assistant of Prince Tripsalot.
Jellahndra the Good – Female, 30s to 50s. A good enchantress who helps Val and PT. (Doubled by the Queen.)
Lord Chamberlain – Male, 20s to 60s. Lord under the King.
Court Jester – Male or Female, 20s to 40s. The Jester of the King’s court. Chorus.
Setting: The Kingdom, The Palace, The Woods Nearby, The Magic Lake, The Ballroom
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‘Fractured’ fairy tale gets its world premiere
By Linda Quinlan
It’s a fairy tale, but for children and grown-ups.
That’s the way Laura Cadregari, a resident of the Sea Breeze area of Irondequoit, sees Gotta Dance!, this year’s production by the Irondequoit Theatre Guild, the community’s theater group.
Cadregari is also tickled that her costumes for the show will be the first to interpret the story, since it’s a world premiere production.
The book and lyrics for the show, which music director Jim Schmitt calls “a musical comedy fractured fairy tale,” were written by Sandi Henschel of Brockport. Schmitt, whose own musical (written with wife Debbi Schmitt) Gettysburg got a world premiere by the Irondequoit Theatre Guild in 2009, wrote the show’s music and additional lyrics.
“I met Sandi when we were both working on a children’s theater show four years ago,” Schmitt said, and they got talking about her show. He calls the show’s music “upbeat,” with a variety ranging from swing to a traditional waltz, from rock to calypso.
Schmitt explained that the show is “loosely” based on the fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” by the Brothers Grimm, but adds with a twinkle, “Ours is minus 11.”
Like Cadregari and several members of the cast, Schmitt stresses that the show is not just for children.
“I’m a grown-up and I love it; it’s written so that parents, as well as their children, will be entertained,” said Maria Scipione.
Irondequoit’s own Joan Buerkle, who plays the show’s bewildered Queen Hapless, is making one of her first stage appearances in about five years.
“It’s fun and it’s right in my hometown,” said Buerkle, who works as a nurse. “Plus, I knew it would appeal to children—and I have 13 grandchildren!”
Materials: Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production. They can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for Gotta Dance! includes: