Once upon a time, there was a very simple young man, a whining princess and a golden goose, all of whom got caught up in a story of magic, greed and, of course, love.
Most children know the Brothers Grimm story of "The Golden Goose." And with the help of June Walker Rogers, who adapts classic fairy tales for the stage, the Carroll Players will bring the story to life this weekend and next.
The annual summer children's dinner theater will be presented today, tomorrow and July 15-16 at Frock's Sunnybrook Farm on Bond Street in Westminster. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. dinner and show. In addition, Saturday matinees will be held at noon. The doors will open at 11:30 a.m.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children and include a hot dog dinner. Advance reservations are recommended. The show is geared for elementary school age children.
"Simpleton is the primary character -- he's a very kind young man, the youngest of three brothers, and the two older brothers are not nice people," said Roberta Rooney, a member of the Carroll Players and the golden goose in the play.
Simpleton, portrayed by Brian Irons, is in the forest when he meets a little old lady, played by Mary Ellis, who gives him the golden goose for his kindness.
With the old lady's encouragement, Simpleton starts toward King Crank's kingdom. The monarch is offering his daughter's hand in marriage to the first man who can make her laugh.
going to try to win the hand of Princess Crybaby, who's very bad-tempered," Ms. Rooney said. "Simpleton and his goose travel forward to the kingdom, but the old lady created a spell on the goose that if a greedy person tried to steal her, they stuck to the goose."
Along the way, an innkeeper, his wife, their two children and the hTC cook all get stuck to the golden goose while Simpleton is resting at the inn. The next day, as the journey continues, a priest is added to the goose's entourage.
"By the time they get to the kingdom, they have a whole parade of people, and Simpleton does indeed make the princess laugh because it's such a silly sight," Ms. Rooney said.
As in most fairy tales, Simpleton and the princess marry and live happily ever after.
The play features fairy tale costumes and a setting in the round, something new for the Carroll Players.
"The audience will be seated around the stage, so that's kind of neat for us," Ms. Rooney said.
There's a lot of humor that children will understand easily and enjoy in this adaptation of the old story. Ms. Rooney is especially funny as she flops about the stage in goose feet, honking when insulted.
The rest of the cast includes Christy Blair as Princess Crybaby, Paul Zimmermann as King Crank, Karen Duff as his queen, Jack Gore and Pat Flaherty as Simpleton's brothers (with Doug Chandler as an understudy playing one brother on Fridays) and Susan Tabatsco as Simpleton's mother.
The innkeeper and his family are portrayed by Mike Panzarotto and Emily Mudgett, with Kate Killian and Liz Ellis as the children. Joan Jones plays the cook, Darryl Anderson plays the priest and Brandon Schreiner plays Prince Good Humor. Tickets for "The Golden Goose" are available at Long's Florist in Hampstead and Finksburg, the Treat Shoppe in Cranberry Mall, Dutterer's Florist and Locust Books in Westminster, or by calling the Carroll Players at 876-2220.