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Get 'Tangled' up in the Children's Theatre's latest production

With it's family-friendly humor, familiar but fresh story, and catchy music, "Tangled" is sure to ensnare audiences of all ages.

This tale of "Rapunzel with a little different twist to it," as director Rachel Lorentz describes it, will be performed by the Pied Piper Players children's theatre in the Perham High School auditorium on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Based on the animated Disney musical of the same name, "Tangled" is about that long-haired fairy tale favorite, Rapunzel. But this adventurous version of the classic story gets the fair maiden out of her tower and off on a fantastic journey - full of unlikely heroes, magic and mystery, and plenty of laugh-out-loud fun.

"Audiences will enjoy it," said Lorentz. "It's comical."

She said all the kids in the cast of 35-plus, "have learned how to portray their characters well, and really get into it."

Fourteen-year-old Lauren Anderson, who plays Rapunzel, is one of them. The Prairie Wind Middle School student has been in about 10 shows before, but this is her first leading role.

"I really like the dancing," she said of "Tangled." "And getting to know my cast. It's really fun to work with younger kids and see them develop as actors."

Most of the kids in the cast are grade school and middle school aged, and for some of them, this is their first time being in a show.

Eight-year-old Skyler Nelson, for example, had never been on stage before. But she "likes watching plays," she said, so she decided to try being on the other side of things. Though she's never been in front of an audience before, she says she's not nervous.

Blaine Bennet, 11, is also new to theatre. He plays a guard in "Tangled."

"It's a lot of work," he said of being in a show, but he's met a few new friends from it.

Grace Minton said she's also made some new friends, and has been enjoying her first experience in the theatre. The 10-year-old tried out for this show because, "I liked 'Tangled' the movie. It's probably the best movie I've ever seen."

But others, while still young, are already stage veterans.

Twelve-year-old Hope Johnson, who plays Mother Gothel, had been in eight other shows before this one. She said she wanted the part of the 'evil stepmother' because, "she's got this personality like none other."

"I like to get out of the house and do something you don't get to do every day," she explained of why she loves being in plays.

When asked if she's anything like her clever, cunning character, Johnson laughs and admits, "Sometimes."

Jonathan Staebler also has something in common with his character. The 13-year-old shares a dream with Flynn Rider, the dashing bandit he plays - they both want to live on a tropical island, "surrounded by enormous piles of money," as the song lyric goes.

Staebler said he tried out for the show, "because I thought it'd be fun. I like drama. I like acting. I like all aspects of plays."

All of the kids said they were having a good time.

"I love it!," exclaimed nine-year-old Madison Rose. "I love how fun it is. I'm very dramatic."

"It's so fun," said fourth grader Jimmy Minton. "You get to perform for the community. People can come and get cheered up."

"I love to be in Rachel's shows," said 10-year-old Carlee Ann Potrament, who has been in at least one other play with director Lorentz. "It's fun."

Lucas Fisher, age nine, agreed and added: "I like the costumes and sets."

Like so many other aspects of the show, students were able to help with the sets. They also assist with costumes, props, staging and other elements that are crucial to a good performance.

Lorentz said rehearsals have been going on for the last few weeks, and the show is coming along better than expected.

Tickets for the one-time-only performance will be available at the door for $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and kids 12 and under.