PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

July 31, 2013

PALT presents "Snow White"

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

GROVES — Remember everything you know about “Snow White” — the airy musical numbers, the jovial cartoon dwarves and the iconic talking mirror.

Then throw that out the window when you see Port Arthur Little Theatre’s production of “Snow White.”

“This is a little bit darker,” said Haley Zani, director and choreographer. “It’s not as happy as the Disney movie was.”

With the assistance of dancers from Debbie’s Dance, Etc. in Groves, Zani has created an atmospheric, almost ominous spin on the timeless fairy tale — originally told by the Brothers Grimm in 1812 — for Port Arthur Little Theatre’s sixth annual Summer Dance Extravaganza, presented Thursday, Aug. 1 through Saturday, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 4 at 2:30 p.m.

While there are several different versions of “Snow White” circulating through pop culture, Zani decided to make this one entirely her own. She began with choosing a track list encompassing artists such as Florence and the Machine, Jimi Hendrix, Muse and Train.

“None of the songs are from any movies,” Zani said. “There’s just not one good soundtrack.”

A lack of characters also led Zani to do some creative improvisation. She did something no one has ever done before — personify the Evil Queen’s Mirror. Zani described her as “the Puck of the story” — an impish figure darting in and out of the action, engineering chaos whenever possible.

“She’s like the queen’s informant,” Zani said. “Nobody ever portrayed the mirror as a person before.”

Despite the deviations from the most familiar tale, Zani said this performance is one that can be enjoyed by all audiences — purists or no.

“They’re still going to be able to follow the story,” Zani said. “And the different take is more exciting to me.”

“Snow White” will be presented on the Port Arthur Little Theatre main stage, 4701 Jimmy Johnson Blvd. Admission is $10. To reserve tickets, call 409-727-7258.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA