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Theatre-Hikes Colorado: Into the woods with Hansel and Gretel

Once upon a time, a mother and her children set out for an adventure. They got into their magic carriage and headed to the enchanted land of Chautauqua in the kingdom of Boulder.

The trio met a passel of other families with kids ages 2 to 12. It was the custom to wear hats with brims and to squirt onto themselves a special potion that would protect their skin from burns, as well as to carry their water in curiously transparent waterskins.

Some nice thespians at a picnic area offered them blankets to carry with them on the rest of their journey. The group set out on its quest for nature, beauty, entertainment and mild exertion in the Chautauquan wilderness.

Before long, a PLAY broke out, one with actors and a minstrel!

Hikers young and old were captivated by the tale of Hansel and Gretel. They laid down their blankets and watched the story unfold. The woodcutter’s family was so hungry! The wife was beside herself for sending her children into the woods to pick berries! The father came home with horrible tales from the village of a witch that inhabited the woods — alas!

The group picked up their blankets and walked the trails to help the woodcutter and his wife find their children. Lo and behold, the adventurers encountered this.

And this.

But no matter the beauty around the hikers, there remained two children to save — from a horrible witch!

Fortunately,  Hansel and Gretel were clever enough to ask for help from their audience, and soon the woodcutter’s family was reunited.

Two hours after they began, the mother and her children finished the 2 mile loop and found a nearby inn that provided nourishment for the hungry adventurers.

And they all lived happily ever after. At least until the next chore time.


Want to get your Theatre-Hike on? There are three more chances to see Hansel and Gretel at Chautauqua:

  • Sat., Jun 25, 2 p.m.
  • Sat., Jul 2, 11 a.m.
  • Sun., Jul 3, 11 a.m.

Tickets are $19/adults, $15 children 10 and under, plus a service charge. Discounts are available for Chautauqua and Colorado Mountain Club members. See for tickets and information on this and other family events.

See also for Hansel and Gretel in Greeley and Sedalia, as well as information on the autumn play-hike in October, Frankenstein. The author’s children have already told her that they are most definitely going to attend.

Win Tickets to Mary Poppins!

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) always does a fabulous job booking shows. But I have to admit; this year is off to a killer start, the best by far. I had just seen Legally Blonde a month or so ago. It was sensational. About two weeks after the show, I got an invite for their next performance, Mary Poppins.

I was so impressed with Legally Blonde; I was hesitant to sit through another play for the wee ones because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I was WRONG. I saw opening night and it was spectacular. I don’t know how the DCPA does it, but one show is better than the next.

The children who play Jane and Michael are beyond talented. They make the show so warm and welcoming. Mary Poppins is not just the perfect singing, sassy nanny; she has some pretty clever special effects to go along with her performance.

Maybe it’s seeing little boys and girls all dressed to the 9’s to go to the theater, or maybe it’s the giggles from the entire audience or the delightful songs in which you can sing along; regardless, this is definitely a show not to pass up. My friend Melissa even leaned over during the final scenes she was so nervous about the flying Mary Poppins. The actors and crew don’t leave a single thing out—flying nannies and all.

For more information, show times and tickets visit

Click here to WIN a pair of tickets to the April 1, 2010 performance of Mary Poppins! **THE CONTEST IS CLOSED! CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER!**