‘Hansel & Gretel’ enchants young and old

WHEELING — For more than 200 years, children around the world have been captivated by the story of brave siblings “Hansel and Gretel” and their adventures in the woods with fairies, gingerbread children and a house made of candy.

Young and old alike can once again enjoy this classic story where good triumphs over evil. Oglebay Institute’s Youth Ballet Company presents an adaptation of the “Hansel and Gretel” ballet at OI’s Towngate Theatre in the Centre Market District of Wheeling.

Families have six chances to see this production, which is as colorful and enchanting as the story itself. Show times are 7 p.m. Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 15 and Oct. 22 at Towngate.

The performances are part of Oglebay Institute’s Children’s Theater Season, which brings classic stories from the page to the stage through theater and dance.

“Our ballet performances feature well-loved stories that children can relate to. Kids not only get excited about seeing characters they love, but also see stories presented in new and interesting ways,” said Oglebay Institute director of dance Cheryl Pompeo.

In addition to the show, children can also enjoy a Cookie Decorating Party with the cast at 12:30 p.m. before each 3 p.m. performance.

Retold and printed countless times, “Hansel and Gretel” has inspired operas, movies and ballets. It has also become a timeless tribute to the Brothers Grimm whose extraordinary creativity also produced “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella.”

“Almost everyone has heard the bedtime story of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ but few have seen the ballet,” Pompeo said. “Although it follows the traditional storyline, the ballet is a completely different experience from reading it in a book. The characters jump off the page to tell the story through expressive and dynamic music and dance.”

“Hansel and Gretel” is the first performance planned by the student dance company for 2017-18. Oglebay Institute Youth Ballet Company will also present other dance shows this season including “The Nutcracker” to be performed during the holidays at both the Mansion Museum and Towngate Theatre.

To purchase tickets for “Hansel and Gretel” and for the Cookie Decorating Party, visit OIonline.com or call 304-242-7700.

Towngate Theatre is located at 2118 Market St. in Wheeling. Some tickets may be available at the door, but many shows will sell out.

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