Utica sketch comedy show promises to add fun to fairy tales

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 9, 2018

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It might be Grimm, but Utica High School theater students say their upcoming fall theatrical production will also have plenty of laughs.

The Utica High School theater department plans to put a unique spin on old fairy tales with “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” Nov. 8-10. 

Utica Theater Director Joel Kaczmarczyk said his production is still early in the process, but he is pleased with the direction it is taking.

“We chose it because we were looking for a good comedy, because it’s always fun to put one on in front of an audience,” he said. “It’s very much in the style of Second City, ‘Saturday Night Live,’ that kind of improvisational feel.”

Kaczmarczyk said two narrators will guide the audience through various fairy tales that are presented as skits. Some of the characters include Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood, he said.

Another reason behind the Grimm pick is its flexibility with cast size. Kaczmarczyk said the play can take as few as 10 people with double-casted actors or as many as 43, so it fits well with his cast of 31. Add in the technical crew, and around 60-80 people are involved with this production overall, he said.

He described the production as “a lot of high energy,” with some audience interaction and “adult humor, but totally appropriate.”

“It’s different from normal plays you put on,” Kaczmarczyk said. “It’s very much like sketch comedy. Scenes change very fast, going from fairy tale to fairy tale.”

Student director Jillian Jezak, a senior, said her job is to keep everyone constantly on their toes and ready to work with any kind of necessary changes.

“We have a lot of new actors this year, so there is a lot of coaching that has to go on,” she said. “It’s their first time ever acting in a high school show.”

Utica senior Hailey Hough, who plays a narrator, said her part is essential because it keeps the audience on track as to what’s going on. She said she likes the script because it’s a comedy with an improv style.

“I kind of want to say it’s more of a dark humor,” she said. “In certain aspects, it’s funny because they are fairy tales, and so we know them when we’re growing up, and it kind of gave a dark humor twist on it.”

Utica senior Mackenzie Robertson said she plays three roles in the different stories, including Cinderella’s wicked stepmother. She said she likes this production because it gives her a chance to speak with different tones and accents. 

“I like putting on character voices,” she said.

The Utica High School theater department will present “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” at 7 p.m. Nov. 8-10 at Utica High School, 47255 Shelby Road in Shelby Township. Tickets cost $9 for adults, $7 for students, and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Buy tickets ahead of time by visiting www.showtix4u.com. Find out more by visiting www.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-2200.