Snow Queen Stuns at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

| December 3, 2008 | 0 Comments

By Elizabeth Shapiro

December 4, 2008 – I’ll admit I was a skeptic when I walked into the doors of the Biograph Theater to see their holiday show, The Snow Queen content I had preconceived notions of what nauseatingly saccharine debacle awaited me when I heard the terms “musical”, “holiday” and “puppets”. I needn’t have worried. In Victory Garden’s capable hands, Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of real love in surreal contexts is a mesmerizing, witty, and highly entertaining performance from first drum beat to last note.

This winter tale is not your traditional cloying Christmas yarn; you won’t find Santa and his sleigh making an appearance. The Snow Queen’s story is grounded in reality– what happens when you fall in love with your best friend, whose poor choices take him away from you? Would you risk all and follow him to the ends of the earth? Gerda, our Danish heroine played convincingly by Blair Robertson, meets several colorful characters on her fantastic odyssey to reclaim Kai, her best friend (Patrick Andrews), including a bedazzled robber and her mother, a princess who bewails the lack of smart suitors, and a talking raven.

Instructors from the Old Town School of Folk Music provide not only onstage accompaniment to give this production a beautiful score with roots in folk and blues music, but also take turns assuming the eccentric roles in the show. Sue Demel, a stand out, imparts her rich vocals to bring the audience to their feet as a wise and jocular old Lapland fisherwoman (listen to her song “Love Letter on a Fish” here ) and to enchant a room into silence as the Snow Queen herself. The detailed set and props–including the aforementioned puppets– are masterfully conceptualized and pull from the Scandinavian art of paper cutting in their black and white silhouettes.

Victory Gardens recommends this show for children ages eight and over, and we’d have to agree. Although there is nothing scandalous or terrifying in the production, older children would better appreciate the nuanced storyline (and punchlines). Luckily, the Biograph’s Family Saturday  production is December 6th; you can leave your younger child (ages 4 and older) in the capable hands of their education staff while you enjoy the show!

Make The Snow Queen a holiday tradition for your family, or bring your friends for an unique moms’ night out. The show runs until December 28th and reasonably priced tickets are on sale now at their box office (773-871-3000); at the newly revamped Biograph Theater (on Lincoln, just north of Fullerton), there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Parking is available at the Children’s Memorial Hospital garage ($6), just south of the theater, and the valet ($11) is a reasonable splurge in these cold weeks. Regardless of how you get there, go see this hysterical and captivating performance this holiday season– it won’t disappoint.

This is an original Chicagonista article.


Elizabeth Shapiro loves exploring her adoptive city with her two-year-old in tow when she isn’t organizing the Chicago Stay at Home Moms meetup group or cheering on her beloved Bears.

Read more of Elizabeth’s articles

Category: Art & Leisure, News & Events

About the Author ()

Head Chicagonista, Co-host of the Chicagonista LIVE! show, Lead blogger for, and Co-Founder of Women Driving Excellence. MJ is also the annual host of SocialRevUp - Brands & Bloggers Summit (#bbsummit) attended by about 200 professional high-profile bloggers nationwide. Follow MJ on Twitter: @mjtam

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