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Humorous, interactive 'Rapunzel' debuts today at Strand Theatre

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Chris Cox, Brooke Dennis, Letitia Clemonsand Wyatt Schonfeld rehearse on Wednesday before today’s debut of “Rapunzel.” INSET RIGHT: Letitia Clemons lets out a weak roar as the dragon. Clemons’ comedic portrayal should bring the laughs for both the younger and older audience.
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Chris Cox, playing the witch, climbs Rapunzel's hair up the tower.
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Letitia Clemons lets out a weak roar as the dragon. Clemons' comedic portrayal should bring the laughs for both the younger and older audience.

By ROSS FLINT

rflint@shelbynews.com

Shelby County Players continues its 30th anniversary season-long celebration with another fan favorite this weekend, “Rapunzel,” the story of a princess who spends her childhood trapped in a doorless tower by a witch after her parents give her up.

“Rapunzel” is the second of five shows selected by last season’s audience for the 30th anniversary season and will debut at 7:30 p.m. today at the Strand Theatre, 215 S. Harrison St.

The hour-long show returns at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and again at 2 p.m. Sunday, and returns to the stage next weekend.

Lori Soehren was asked by the artistic team to direct the show and said rehearsals have been going well despite being limited in what they could do until this week.

She said they were unable to rehearse climbing the tower at SCP Offstage because of its height and they spent the beginning of this week working those types of challenges out. There are several instances where the witch, who has trapped Rapunzel in the tower after taking her from her parents because they stole fruit, scales the wall using Rapunzel’s hair. There are a couple other times where the prince does the same after discovering Rapunzel from her singing.

Soehren first joined Shelby County Players in 2009 when she portrayed the witch in the children’s program, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest.”

“I’ve always been an advocate for children’s theatre so it seemed like full circle, (a) good fit to do this,” she said.

The interactive show features Brooke Dennis as Rapunzel, Wyatt Schonfeld as the prince, Kit Fleck as Rapunzel’s mother, Dion Lee as Rapunzel’s father, Chris Cox as the witch and Letitia Clemons as the comedic dragon.

The show is child-friendly but families should be aware that cast members will be off stage, running around the aisles in the theatre at times throughout the performance and will be interacting with the crowd.

Tickets are $5 in advance and can be bought at Mickey’s T-Mart at 748 S. Harrison Street or online at shelbycountyplayers.com/ticketsalesYoungAudience.html. Tickets sold at Mickey’s must be paid for by cash or check.

They will also be available at the door for $6 apiece.

Shelby County Players continues its 30th anniversary celebration with “Blithe Spirit” starting in late February, followed by “The Odd Couple (Female Version) in late April and “Nunsense II” in August.