I know people who flatly refuse to see any value in that which is not as naturalistic as possible. These folks might or might not enjoy Rapunzel Alone by Mike Kenny. It has no fantasy elements it it at all. One character, a goose (no, really--it doesn't talk but is just a goose) and is performed by a puppeteer (Matt Curtin). That might be too much for them. But methinks the deepest problem they might have is that characters see what is happening to them in terms (eventually, ultimately) of a fairy tale.
Given the title, no points on guessing which one! Lettie (Tara Alise Cox) is a child evacuated from London during the Blitz, one of over half a million shipped out to avoid first bombs, then the nascent missiles hurled by Nazi Germany at the City. She is bi-racial, a fact which proves very important, not least because Miss Pearce (Jacquelin Lorraine Schofield) is likewise of mixed race, living alone in a farm outside a small town where the locals call her a witch.
Before too terribly long, Lettie meets Conrad (William Leon) a local boy her own age who delivers the mail since the former mailman, his father, is in the Army.
Before that, she meets Gertrude (see above).
This simple, four character play taking place mostly in a simple farmhouse, takes on the scope of any epic fantasy a la Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Game of Thrones. It has no magic, save words and pictures and the imagination. No monsters save a flock of crows, and war, and racism, plus fear and misunderstandings. So, as you can see, this is a story with a lot of monsters. Real ones. It has a book our heroine cannot read, not because it is under a spell but because (I think) she is dyslexic. There is a quest or two. Plus a guardian of strange power. Battles against the monsters, many of those. There are tellers of tales and wielders of real magic, like teaching and reading and patience. Our hero comes into her own, and by her courage wins a great treasure--hearing her parents' voices, finding a new home, the vision with which to understand the world a little better.
And yes, she gets to let down her hair.
Directors Debbie Devine and Jesús Castaños-Chima orchestrated this simple, powerful tale amid wonderful mixed media and startlingly honesty from the cast. One of my own most precious experiences when seeing theatre is to look at a character onstage and think to myself "Oh, hello there--you're me, aren't you?" It says a lot I felt this for every single character in the play.
Rapunzel Alone plays Saturdays at 3 p.m and 7:30pm and Sundays at 3 p.m. until May 1, 2022 at the 24th Street Theatre ,1117 West 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007-1725
Proof of vaccination, including booster if eligible, and ID are required for entry, and masks must be worn throughout the performance.