The Magic of REP’s Theater for Young Audiences’ Snow White & the Prince

I was thrilled to win two tickets to see REP’s Theater for Young Audiences’ (RTYA) Snow White & the Prince  (SWATP) last Saturday, September 23, at 4:30pm at Onstage, Greenbelt 1 in Makati. The company ran a giveaway on Facebook and Instagram, and I took a shot at it. Fortunately, I won. Thank you very, very much, Repertory Philippines, for this fantastic opportunity!

I usually take all of the boys to the theater, but could only bring my 12-year old Judah this time because Pablo is currently trying to beat the deadline for an animation competition, so we agreed that he and Lukas will just watch the show themselves sometime in October; after all, SWATP will run until December, so there’s plenty of time for them to see the show.

Judah with the cast of Snow White & the Prince.

It’s been a while since my last RTYA show. The last one I remember seeing was the one with my friend, Mazie Cajucom, playing one of the leads opposite a male child actor. It was in 1996, haha, a bit far back to remember what the show was. But I remember that the show was super early – around 9AM-ish, I think….and at REP’s old home at the Shangri la mall.

I’ve almost forgotten how magical RTYA shows are! I only started to recall when the curtains opened to reveal the evil queen in her royal chambers, her reflection casted on the mirror as she asked it who the fairest creature was in all of the kingdom. I don’t know how they did the talking reflection effect, but I thought it was brilliant!

I’m not sure what it was — if it was the overture as the curtains were going up, or if it was the beautiful set, or the colorful costumes, but it’s like a chest opened in me and out popped a child, giddy with excitement for what’s to come.

With my Theater date!

Janet Yaetes Vogt & Mark Friedman’s Snow White & the Prince isn’t told like the popular fairy tale. This one has Snow White asking for her favorite Hazelnut-flavored cake for her birthday and meeting the prince at her birthday ball.

The dwarves aren’t the usual Heigh Ho singing bunch (they were singing a totally different tune in this one), and the hero in the end was the Mirror who stepped in between the powerful queen and Snow White and the Prince, deflecting the queen’s spell back to her, causing her to turn into a stone.

RTYA shows are always interactive! Give it to REP to use, not just the platform in front, but the entire theater, for the show. The characters  were appearing from everywhere — from the back of the audience’s area, walking down the aisle to the front, and from the sides!

Snow White (Pappel), the Evil Queen (Julia Serad), the Nursemaid (Ring Antonio) and the Mirror (Franco Ramos) asked the kids in the audiences to participate in different parts of the show and the kids happily did so – yelling their answers to the questions posed by the characters. It made the show livelier and more exciting for all of us, making us feel like we’re part of the storytelling.

Pappel, who played Snow White in this show, sang beautifully and who’s to forget the queen whose entrances (and numbers) were the most grandiose?

I knew I recognized Franco Ramos, who played the Mirror! I’ve seen him in another production some time back before the pandemic lockdown. I love his flair onstage, and Chesko Rodriguez’s Ruppert had me and Judah chuckling each time he repeated “very good, sir!” to respond to the prince’s constant babbles.

I’m just wondering why the prince (Rapah Manalo) was tucked in for his nightcap on a seat instead of a bed…

I’ve seen a few clips of RTYA’s previous productions of SWATP online and the sets and the costumes were different in each one! The dwarves’ costumes in this one are more camouflage-y, which served them well in a scene where Snow White tries to find her way in the forest and they hid behind the bushes.

I also liked the dollhouse-like dwelling of the dwarves. So reminiscent of the recently released Barbie movie!

Overall, RTYA’s Snow White & the Prince was a perfect theater date for me and my kid. Everything about it was fun. We enjoyed every minute of it and are looking forward to seeing more of their offerings in the future.

By the way, for those who missed their announcement. REP is not bowing out when Onstage closes down for renovation. They’re just moving to RCBC theater along Ayala Avenue, very near the fire station. But for the entire duration of SWATP’s run, they will be at Onstage.

With friends, Shirley, Hector and their little girl, Hiela, who first fell in love with theater last Summer. Image by Shirley Lim.

RTYA’s Snow White & the Prince will continue until December of this year at Onstage, Greenbelt.  Bring your kids to see the show! Tickets for the show are available to purchase at Ticketworld.

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