Rumpelstiltskin, the last of his kind, dances alone in the darkness before a leaping fire, casting a giant shadow on a craggy mountain face as he relates in ominous verse his plan to "find a child of my own to chase away the dark." Huddled around a fire in a primitive, nomadic village, Uta conspires with his mother to swindle the king out of his yearly tribute by inventing a false prophecy that his daughter, Alana, would, at the first full moon of each year, spin straw into gold. As Rumpelstiltskin peeks out from a nomad's tent, Alana is abducted by the king and his reluctant son, Marius, and taken to the king's castle, where she is sent to work spinning straw into gold. In the castle the mood lightens as romance blossoms between Alana and Marius and comedy reigns among the royal servants: Old Nanny, Cook, Birdy and her niece, Pigeon. Still, the rhyming Rumpelstiltskin is manipulating every step of the way, and there is always the underlying unease that he will appear and exact his dreadful payment. One ext., two int. sets. Approximate running time: 65 minutes.
"'All that glitters is not gold.' Tells the rhyme from days of old. Gold warms not this beating heart. Not gold but life … life lights the dark."
"Rumpelstiltskin is another feather in [Ms. Daugherty's] cap. The play builds an absorbing, complex mood. E