Fairytales cast a spell as Pelican Playhouse debuts two shows

    The Pelican Playhouse’s very best actors and actresses presented last weekend to a packed of enthusiastic theater-goers at the Rebeca Sosa Theater for the debut of “The Further Adventures of Nick Tickle Fairy Tale Detective” and “Twice Upon a Time.”

    Against a colorful timeless fairytale setting, theater-goers had the opportunity to travel through time and see some of their favorites — Snow White, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, and Cinderella — battle it out with pirates, evil queens, witches, and Rumpelstiltskin.

    The audience fell into the palms of their hands as they threw out one-liners one after another. Smiles and laughter filled the room. The audience felt like part of the action rather than just an observer.

    Three more shows are scheduled for this weekend and tickets are now on sale. The shows will be held in the Rebeca Sosa Theater at the Community Center and showtimes will be 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.

    Ralph Wakefield is the artistic director of the Pelican Playhouse, and talked about the group’s 13th season in Miami Springs.

In Wakefield’s

own words:

    “This is a continuation of two shows that we did almost nine years ago. We did ‘Nick Tickle Fairytale Detective’ and this time we are doing the continuing adventures of ‘Nick Tickle Fairytale Detective’ and ‘Twice Upon a Time.’ We did ‘Twice Upon a Time’ about eight years ago and now we are doing it again.

    “The cast is grown up and moved away except for ‘Nick Tickle Fairytale Detective’ Mary McLees, who was Goldilocks in the original production. In this production, ‘The Continuing Adventures of Nick Tickle Fairytale Detective,’ she plays Granny Possum. That is our link with the past.”

What is the storyline of the play?

    “The beginning of the hour showcased ‘Nick Tickle Fairytale Detective’ as to the kidnapping of Granny Possum. Nick is put on the case to solve it by three dwarfs. They are big Granny Possum fans and they love her dearly. They are very sad that she is gone because there is no one to tell the stories. So, they hired Nick to track down Granny Possum’s kidnapper to bring him or her to justice.

    “It’s fun from beginning to end. Nick encounters pirates, Puss in Boots, Rumpelstiltskin and his wife, and Prince Charming, all en route to save Granny Possum. I won’t give away how this is solved and who done it be cause it’s a whodunit.

    “The second half of the evening brought a delightful ‘Twice Upon a Time.’ ‘Twice Upon a Time’ is the tale of three witches who have lost their spell book. In their attempts to get their spells to work again, they inadvertently conjured Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and all her dwarfs, Beauty from ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and the Frog Prince. They can’t find their book and they can’t get anything right. Princess after princess shows up. Princesses and witches don’t mix very well and in their attempt to get them out much hilarity ensues.”

What about the cast?

    “The cast has had huge fun. They are a wonderful mix of old and young and veterans and rookies. We have four sets of families on stage, which is a hallmark of the playhouse that we put parents and children on stage together.

    “We’ve got Jose Pichardo and Jacqueline Correa, father and daughter on stage together as Queen Cupcake and the Magic Mirror.

    “We have the Pikes. Pastor Gordon Pike is the pastor of Poinciana United Methodist Church and his wife Donna and his daughter are on stage. Donna plays Mrs. Stiltskin and Emily plays Princess and the Pea. Both are in the show together although they are not in the same show.

    “We also have the Frias family. Manny Frias plays one of the dwarfs in ‘Twice Upon a Time’ and his daughter Sarah Frias is Puss in Boots in Nick Tickle. Manny’s other daughter Vanessa Frias is running our sound effect.

    “Oh yes, who did I forget? We’ve got Tyler Reed and Mary Reed. Mary Reed is our assistant director. Mary also plays the Fairy godmother and her son Tyler is Prince Charming. Families together! That’s what is really neat about the playhouse.”

It’s a dream come true!

    “For my wife Nancy and I, it’s a labor of love. It’s a dream come true. I always love telling this, back in 1974 Nancy won the Silver Knight in Drama at Miami Springs Senior High and The Miami Herald interviewed her after. She said , ‘What I’d like to do is come back to Miami Springs and start a community theater.’ And in 1999 all those years later we did and we’ve been doing it ever since.

    “So, we've had a whole story. The characters have passed through all the possible obstacles, and in closing Granny Possum says, “And they lived happily ever after …”

    “However, some would consider this as not an ending, but an open path for a possible sequel.”

Here’s what several people had to say about the play:

    • Sam Chazon, who played Nick Tickle: “It was my job in the play to find out who kidnapped Granny Possum. It was fun. It’s my third or fourth play here at Pelican Playhouse. It’s a great experience because it’s made up of everyone in the community — adults and kids. We were able to pull it together in a professional and entertaining production just like you’d see in a nice, fancy theater. We try to make people laugh, which is our main objective.”

    • Dee Derringer Piquette has done every facet of the Playhouse, from lights, sound and set costumes: “I costumed this extravaganza. My favorite costume that I made was the 3-foot-tall dwarfs with striped socks, striped hats and elf ears. Anytime I can make an actor happy it makes me happy. So I am very happy to say everybody in the show was very happy with their costumes. I think I did a good job.”

    • Dr. Ileana Ramudo-Townsend, who attended the play: “It was a great experience. It was magical and marvelous. I hope they continue fulfilling this purpose for the community.”

    • Emily Pike, who played Princess and the Pea: “I really had fun doing this play. This is my third time here and I really like it, but I can’t get my tiara to stay on is the only problem. I’m the only princess here or so far that has been in a Disney movie.”

    • Mari Rodriguez, a volunteer usher and mother of Alexa, who plays Beauty: “My daughter has always known that she has wanted to do drama. I, on the other hand, was very shy. She loves being part of this group and has had so much fun. She gets a real thrill when the audience reacts, when they laugh, when they boo and when they gasp.”

    • Alexa Renee Garcia, who attended the play with her parents: “I really like watching Snow White with my little sister. The play tells a little bit more about it. They use creativity in it and changed the story a little bit.”

    • Jose Pichardo, who played Magic Mirror: “I had a blast. I had a lot of fun. I was doing this with my daughter (Queen Cupcake), so it was really special.”

    • Jacqueline Correa, who played Queen Cupcake: “Being in the show was a lot of fun. It was fun playing opposite my dad, who played Magic Mirror, and I was evil Queen Cupcake.”

    Refreshments and homemade goodies were made available by the Miami Springs Math Club.

    For more information on the Pelican Playhouse, contact Ralph Wakefield at 305-884-6804 or visit