"... may well become a Christmas classic."
"This stage adaptation of the Andersen tale is a welcome alternative
to standard holiday fare.... The play has wide family and community
appeal, clever dialog, solid dramatic tension, and respect for its
audience.... Adapted by one of the United States's most original
storytellers, this pageant may well become a Christmas classic."
And so it begins in the comfortable parlor of Gerda's grandmother's house more than a hundred years ago. Outside it is snowing and Gerda's grandmother tells the story of the Snow Queen and cautions Gerda's friend, Kai, who foolishly scoffs at the notion of the mysterious lady. But very soon he will know better, and Gerda will be off on an adventure full of danger to rescue Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen before she turns his heart to ice. (There are wonderful pictures to come.)
The literature of Fairy-tales has hardly a more exciting story, which has now been turned into a Christmas Musical by writer Richard Kennedy and music man Mark Lambert. In this form, it has recently been published by Harper Collins. The Playbooks and Score are now available in time for the 1997 Christmas season.
The show is a full-sized musical, 2 acts, and runs about 2 hours with an intermission. The music can be played by a full orchestra or a piano solo. The songs are in range for young, untrained voices, and there is dancing for both the serious student and those stumbling along best they can.
It's December in Denmark, Christmas vacation. Gerda is
visiting her Grandmother, who warns Kai of the Snow Queen,
but he has no belief in such tales. The next day, however, the
Snow Queen comes to visit him as he sits in the snow mending
his old sled. She charms him immediately with her flattery, her
beauty, and a breezy song, and he is tempted to ride in her sleigh.
Off they fly, then, into the crystal sky.
And so Gerda is instructed by the Flowers to go in search of Kai, and next she comes upon two blackbirds, Sweetheart and Crow. Sweetheart lives in a castle, and Crow badly needs her coaching on manners, French, and dancing. They aren't much help in Gerda's quest, except for Sweetheart's advice. "I should search to the north if I were you. I mean to say, if you were carrying a sled, which way would you go, my dear?"
The robbers have captured Gerda, but she is helped by the Little Robber Girl, one of the great brat champions of all literature, who will teach her to be a robber if she stays on with them. But Gerda learns that the Snow Queen has stolen Kai away, and she must continue on her quest. The Little Robber Girl outfits her for the trek, and lends Gerda her Reindeer. Their next stop should be the Lapp Woman's hut, and off they go towards the Northern Lights.
Gerda and the Reindeer face many dangers, Bears and Wolves and Whatnot, and at last arrive at the Lapp Woman's hut, all the worse for wear, and Gerda falls asleep at the table while the Lapp Woman explains the situation to the Reindeer.
Gerda is put to bed, but in a nightmare the Imps come to defeat her that she should never rescue Kai from the Snow Queen, and she wakes up crying for help, and angels come to fight on her side. But that is only a dream. Soon it will be the real thing in the Snow Queen's palace.
At last Gerda and the Reindeer have fought past the Imps and have found their way inside the Snow Queen's palace where she reigns over her Frozen Boys, and Kai is there, his heart nearly turned to ice.
But Gerda and Kai burst in upon the scene just as the Snow Queen is about to give Kai the last freezing kiss, and the Snow Queen is helpless against the Reindeer's bravery and Gerda's devotion. Yet the Imps are strong, and as the Angels battle them, Gerda escapes with Kai and the other Frozen Boys, and the Snow Queen is at last left alone in her icy palace.
It's Christmas again in Grandma's parlor. There is a celebration of the season and Kai's return, not that the other children believe a word of Gerda's story until there comes a knock on the door. It's the Little Robber Girl and her Reindeer, come by with a new sled for Kai and a white fox muff for Gerda, presents they've been longing for.especially. And that's the happy ending.
And so that's the most brief telling of the story. There are more speaking parts, and scenes not presented here. Also, there are songs throughout. On the next few pages are snatches of several of the music pieces. A piano player with intermediate skill can quite nicely accompany the whole show. Also, some more pictures to brighten the pages, and Mark and I wish you a happy year, and such enjoyment as we had in giving the community Hans Christian Andersen's wonderful story of the Snow Queen.
. . . to the Photos & Music
. . . to more Photos & Music
. . . and more Photos & Music