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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (musical)

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Promotional Poster for the Musical

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (better known as "Snow White Live") is a stage musical based on the 1937 animated feature film. It premiered at Radio City Music Hall in 1979 and it is known for saving the building from being torn down. It starred Broadway stage veteran Anne Francine as The Evil Queen, Richard Bowne as Prince Charming and unknown Mary-Jo Salerno as Snow White and was directed and staged by Frank Wagner and produced by Robert Jani. In 1980 it was televised on HBO and in 1987 on Disney Channel.

Plot

Prologue

The musical opens with narration that's tells of a beautiful Queen sitting by the window watching the falling snow and thinking to herself, "Would that if I had a daughter with skin as fair as that snow, with hair as black as the raven's crest and lips as red as cherry wine." Soon the Queen gave birth to a daughter who was the very essence of her wish and she and the King named the princess Snow White. After the Queen died, the King became lonely and many years he took a new Queen from the far-off land of Shi-tan so that Snow White would have a mother in her life.

Act One

The kingdom is celebrating the marriage the King and his new queen. She has brought with her from Shi-tan her lady-in-waiting Luna, and her personal huntsman. When Snow White makes her entrance, the Queen notices that the King loves her very much. She then lies to the King that must arrange for the safety of the rest of her subjects back to her homeland in order instead of sharing the first dance with him. In her chambers, the Queen summons the slave in her magic mirror and she asks:"Magic Mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest one of all?" The Mirror is reluctant to answer but after much persuasion, it says that Snow White has far outshone the Queen's beauty. She then summons Luna before her to take Snow White to ramshackle village far beyond the Kingdom and see to it that the girl is dressed in rags and forced to do heavy work and backbreaking labor until her beauty is destroyed. Luna agrees to do so and takes Snow White, who is oblivious to the scheme. Time passes in the village, where hard labor has done everything but destroy Snow White's beauty. She makes friends with the women of the village and tells them of her wish to find true love. Just then, a traveling prince from the neighboring Kingdom of Heart hears Snow White singing and he falls in love instantly. But the startled princess flees to her house where she watches him from afar. Back at the castle, the Queen finds out Snow White remains more beautiful than she. The Queen decides to summon her huntsman and she instructs him to go to the villiage and tell Snow White he has come to take her home to her father, and to take her into a secluded glade in the forest and kill her and bring back her heart as proof that the deed had been done. The huntsman, not wanting to suffer a fate worse than death, reluctantly agrees to do so. But the huntsman cannot bring himself to kill the princess and tells Snow White of the Queen's jealousy, and to run into the forest and to never return to the castle. After her flight through the forest, Snow White encounters the forest animals who take to a cottage deep in the forest. When she discovers what a mess the cottage is she decides to clean it in hopes of winning favor with the owners. In the diamond mines the owners of the cottage are preparing to return home. They are seven dwarfs: Doc, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey. Upon seeing that someone is in their house, they think it's a monster so they go up to bedroom to kill it. But when they see that it's a beautiful girl,  they all fall in love with her, except Grumpy (as he says). Snow White wakes up and sees them, and she tells them abour herself and of stepmother. The dwarfs agree to let Snow White stay if she keeps house for them while they work in the mines.

Act Two

The prince returns to the village. Learning about what happened to Snow White, he and the huntsman go to tell the King. Meanwhile, the Queen finds out Snow White is still alive so she decides to take matters into her own hands. She goes deep in the dungons and concocts a magic potion. She drinks the potion and she transforms into an ugly old crone. She then decides to kill Snow White with a poisoned apple, of which Snow White would have to take one bite and she would fall into the Sleeping Death. In the King's chambers, the King becomes very worried, but the prince and the huntsman tell him of the Queen's jealousy and her plans for Snow White. The King orders Luna to be brought before him and he decides to throw her in the dungon to rot there for the rest of her days. The prince then races to find Snow White before the Queen does. Back at the cottage, unaware of the Queen's plot, Snow White and dwarfs dance and tell stories, and Snow White tells them of her wish for the prince to find her. The next day, the dwarfs go to the mines and they tell Snow White not to let anyone into the house. When they finally leave, the old crone appears and tempts Snow White with the poisoned apple, telling her it will grant any wish her heart desires. Snow White believes the old crone and bites into the apple, and falls to the ground in a deathlike sleep. At the mines, Snow White's animal friends warn the dwarfs of the Queen. The dwarfs then chase the Queen to the top of cliff. She threatens to crush them with a boulder, but a bolt of lightning splits the ledge and The Evil Queen is hurled to her death at the bottom of the chasm.

Epilogue

The dwarfs find Snow White seemingly dead on the floor, so they build a coffin of glass they lay her in it. They keep watch over her until the prince finally finds her. As he opens the coffin, he leans in to kiss his beloved for the first and last time. But then Snow White wakes up alive, the spell having been broken. She and her prince are married, she is reunited with her father and she thanks the dwarfs for everything they have done for her. Snow White and The Prince then ride up to his castle in the clouds.

Productions

The original production opened at the Radio City Music Hall on October 18, 1979 and closed November 18, 1979 and closed after 38 performances so Radio City could put on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (went up November 25, 1979 to and closed after 91 performances on January 6, 1980). Snow White re-opened on January 11, 1980, and closed after 68 performances on March 9, 1980, a total of 106 performances.

Cast

Character Actor
Snow White Mary Jo Salerno
Prince Charming Richard Bowne
The Queen Anne Francine
The Crone Charles Hall
Doc Don Potter
Grumpy Benny Freigh
Happy Richard Day
Bashful Jay Edward Allen
Sneezy Louis Carry
Sleepy Jerry Riley
Dopey Michael E. King
Huntsman Bruce Sherman
The Mirror Charles Hall
The King Thomas Ruisinger
Luna Yolande Bavan
Greta Heidi Coe
Mother Lauren Lipson
Chamberlain David Pursley

Musical Numbers

  • Overture
  • "Welcome To The Kingdom" - Company
  • "Queen's Presentation" - Company
  • "I'm Wishing" - Snow White, Greta, Villagers
  • "One Song" - Prince Charming
  • "With a Smile and a Song" - Snow White, Animals
  • "Whistle While You Work" - Snow White, Animals
  • "Heigh-Ho" - Seven Dwarfs
  • "Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Washing Song)" - Seven Dwarfs
  • "Will I Ever See Her Again" - Prince Charming
  • "The Dwarfs' Yodel Song (The Silly Song)" - Snow White, Seven Dwarfs, Animals
  • "Some Day My Prince Will Come" - Snow White
  • "Heigh-Ho (Reprise)" - Seven Dwarfs
  • "Snow White's Theme"/"One Song (Reprise)"/"Here's The Happy Ending"/"Some Day My Prince Will Come (Reprise)"- Company

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