Snow White: The Mirror’s Revenge, a new play by author Jay Hartlove is a triumph in music, theme, and story. As a sequel to the 19th century German fairy tale, Schneewittchen, this tale takes us into the future after the story we all know.
The play was inspired by the Evanescence song “Bring Me to Life” and in it, Jay strives to answer the questions the original tale leaves us with. Why did the Evil Queen want to kill Snow White instead of marrying her off to further her kingdom? How did Snow’s father die and how “happily ever after” could Snow really live after being dead for six months? Wouldn’t she bring something back with her from unlife?
This dark fantasy plays with the thought that Snow was actually dead and may have come back “undead” or at least tainted by her stint in the land of Death. The prince’s kiss brought Snow back and now she’s Queen. Things should be all roses and sunshine, but out of death, she brought back with her horrible nightmares and perhaps a curse?
The story follows Snow as she attempts to rid herself of horrible nightmares, is double-crossed by the church, and protected by a band of monks who embody the dwarves we know from the original tale. There is a delicious Dorian Gray-ish sub-plot involving a poor peasant who becomes infected with the mirror’s magic. Seeing this story through Jay’s eyes, you might even start to feel sorry for the Evil Queen. Was she really so evil, or did the mirror possess her as well?
There is enough in this play to inspire fantasy, sword and sorcery lovers as well as dark fantasy—boarding on horror—enthusiasts. While I witnessed a low-budget production, the greatness of this tale and what it could become with a larger venue and backing was clear from the beginning. Although—no matter what the budget—I have to say I would never replace the star of the show, young Kristina Jewett. Her voice and acting ability excel past her years and we are sure to see big things from her in the future.
I was lucky to have caught the show on its last weekend, but despite the live play dates having passed, we can still enjoy the music. With fourteen original songs arranged by Celtic rockers Kristoph Klover and Margaret Davis, this soundtrack is a must-own. Mixing a bit of modern rock with the sounds and feeling of Renaissance music, the words blend love songs with fun songs, serious with touching. While some songs sway to the silly like “Why Should We Worry” and “Old King Krosus” you’ll still find yourself singing along with them. The light-hearted tracks provide a nice balance against truly great numbers like “Mama, Now I Am Queen,” “Summer Ended Early,” and the dismally dark track, “Why She Must Die.” If you’re a musical buff like me, you’ll choose your favorites and replay them over and over. For those who attend the Bay Area SciFi/Fantasy Convention circuit, you’ll recognize some of the music contributors such as Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff and actress/producer Taunya Gren. The musical cast does such a great job of bringing this story to life through Jay’s lyrics.
With stellar music and a strong story, this play has a good chance at becoming a cult classic. We can only hope another production is in the works so that you may see it live like I did.
The CD or downloadable tracks are available here: http://www.flowinglass.com/snow.html