THE SEVEN RAVENS adapted by Kathleen McDonnell, directed by Michel Lefebvre, with Marjorie Chan and Bradley Sawatzky. Presented by Youtheatre and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (165 Front). Runs to December 1, Friday 7 pm, Sunday 11:30 am, 2:30 and 4:30 pm. $18. 416-862-2222. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
You never know what a fairy-tale curse might do. In the Grimm Brothers' The Seven Ravens, an angry father unthinkingly turns his seven sons into black-winged ravens who fly away into the forest. Kathleen McDonnell's adaptation of the tale, presented by Montreal's Youtheatre and directed by Michel Lefebvre, becomes story theatre whose wit, heart and entertainment quality are immediately appealing. The engaging work of Marjorie Chan as Little Dove, who saves and transforms her seven brothers, and Bradley Sawatzky as all the other characters, is another plus.
But the real magician is designer Linda Brunelle, who's created a box set made of mirrors, globes of light and dark-rooted trees -- or are they the feet and claws of the ravens? -- and black-and-white costumes that turn Sawatzky into a mysterious Dickensian undertaker complete with fluttering wings and Chan into a white-dressed innocent who, like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, goes on a quest to reunite her family and return safely home.JK