......Another borthter-sister team in distress took over the atrium of the Queens Museum Sunday afternoon when the fledgling Opera Pomme Rouge presented a kid-friendly adaptation of Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel. If the Show starts a little later than the announced 2 p.m., that was because the producers of the event had the happy task of setting up extra chairs when far more Queens-area young stars showed up for the opera than were expected.
There wasn't much opportunity to get bored, though because Pomme Rouge offered a galaxy of other activities related to the opera proper, including a workshop in crafting origami strawberries. (The kids then were encouraged to share their creations with the "starving" Hansel and Gretel when they were lost in the forest.) We were also taught choreography so we could participate in the joyous finale of show.
Non of this overshadowed the main business of the afternoon, a charmingly traditional abridgment of Humperdinck's opera accompanied crisply on the piano by Ishmael Wallace. Among a solid cast, Aine Hakamatsuka, sparkled as Gretel, matching a pearly soprano with a demeanor so authentic she seemed a real little girl even when standing next to an actual toddler.
Hansel, in fact, proved a perfect chaser for The House Taken Over: Following a night of middle-aged angst, it was great to feel like a kid again.