BWW Reviews: DISENCHANTED - A Hilarious, Fairytale Lament

BWW Reviews: DISENCHANTED - A Hilarious, Fairytale Lament

BWW Reviews: "DISENCHANTED" - a Hilarious Fairytale Lament

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino
Directed by Fiely Matias
Musical Direction by Michael Raabe
Musical Staging by Matt West

February 1st, 2014 at 2:00P.M.

Princess's have problems too. That is the basis of the storyline in the campy, musical spoof, of a hilarious, Fairytale Princess's Lament, in "DISENCHANTED", now playing at the Straz Center's, Jaeb Theatre through April 13th, 2014.

In 2011, when I was first introduced to the script of "DISENCHANTED", it was more descriptively, (albeit shocking), titled "Bitches of the Kingdom". Now THAT title alone, put a grin on my face, raised not only my brow, but my interest in learning more about the project, entered into the Orlando Fringe Festival.
I saw the premiere in Orlando and was thoroughly entertained.

Now...3 years later, the show has developed in to a hilarious production. I had to wipe away the tears of laughter from my eyes, as 6 multi-talented women cavorted, through a sparkling array of "UN- happily ever after" woes.
The intimate setting of the Jaeb Theatre is the perfect venue for "DISENCHANTED". And at the first Saturday, matinee performance, it was jam-packed with an eclectic group of eagerly awaiting patrons. I was very curious to see how a "matinee audience" would respond to the "mature audience" themed show. Before I go any further...THEY LOVED IT! They laughed out loud, whistled and cheered from the moment the show began.
All of the cast members have great singing voices and 5 STAR - crystal clear diction.

Raven haired beauty, Michelle Knight, commands the stage as Snow White. Ms Knight is simply captivating in her role as the leader of the Princess pack. Her voice is astounding and her comic timing is flawless.
Breanne Pickering is hysterical-funny, as the wide-eyed, dumb blonde, Cinderella. Her mild mannered, spot on delivery, is reminiscent of comedienne, Georgia Engel and Ms. Pickering can really sing too.

As Hua Mulan/Pocahontas/Princess Badroulbador, Lulu Picart, is outstanding in all of her roles. She is a powerhouse belter, that also has the training and abilities, to caress each note in her ballads. Ms. Picart's dead-pan comedy, is scene-stealing.

In a supporting role as Sleeping Beauty, toothy, rubenesque, Becca McCoy, brings a "Lily Tomlin", comedic quality, to her performance. Ms. McCoy's talents are showcased, in a multi-faceted performance, in her solo, "Perfect".

Kali Rabaut makes memorable entrances in all of her roles, as Belle/The Little Mermaid/ and Rapunzel. Ms. Rabaut is especially good in her country styled, solo, "Two Legs".

As The One Who Kissed The Frog, radiant, Ericka Dunlap, gives a shining performance. We only wish that we could have seen more of her in the show.

This musical spoof/satire, does have an underlying message and that is what makes it all the more wonderful and appealing to me. It's about acceptance and being confident in who you are as a person. Thank you, Dennis T. Giacino.

Director Fiely Matias, keeps the show moving at a brisk pace. Mr. Matias uses lots of comedic bits and business, right out of the old vaudeville trunk, which are a perfect addition to this musical spoof. The simple, fun, and effective musical staging by Matt West is right on target.

Kudos to Musical Directior Michael Raabe, who also leads the excellent, well balanced, 3 piece band on piano, with Bobby Brennan on electric bass and Burt Rushing on percussion.

The scenic design by Gentry Akens is simple, yet magical. A rainbow of draperies serves as the show curtain, under a beautifully detailed painted proscenium arch. I laughed at the gold, seashell footlights, which were a perfect compliment to the style of the show. The set consisted of wagons and pieces that were brought on and off stage. The costume design by Vanessa Leuck is fun, colorful and whimsical. The innovative lighting design by Graham Kindred, incorporates gobos, (patterned stencils), which added a great deal to the "magic of the kingdom". The sound design by Greg Zane was perfectly clear and well balanced. Stage Manager Susan Halderman kept the show moving smoothly.

"Bravo!", to the cast, musicians, creatives, and crew of "DISENCHANTED".

I will see this one AGAIN and AGAIN!

Running time: 100 minutes (without an intermission)

Recommended for mature audiences, ages 16+

"DISENCHANTED" will play the Jaeb Theatre, January 28 - April 13, 2014 at at the Straz Center,

1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place • Tampa, Florida 33602 Tickets: From $40.00 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, or in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online.

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Jimmy Ferraro Jimmy Ferraro is an Award Winning Actor and “Theatre Veteran”. His professional career spans over 40 years in every aspect of show business. Ferraro’s credits as a producer and director of over 100 productions in New York and around the country, and as an author, are an outgrowth of his decades as a professional performer throughout the U.S. and overseas, including Broadway, National Tours, Off-Broadway and regional theatre. He was hand picked by Director/ Choreographer Jerome Robbins, for "Fiddler on the Roof" on Broadway and in the National Tours. He most recently starred as Tevye in the 2012 National Tour of "Fiddler" and won Best Actor in a Musical from Ferraro's numerous awards in the performing arts include, Top Ten Professional Achievers in Tampa Bay, Outstanding Young Man of America, Who’s Who in Entertainment, and First Place in the Miami Opera Vocal Competition. His many charitable awards include the prestigious National Philanthropy Day Award, along with performing in benefits for Alzheimer’s Family Organization, American Heart Foundation, A Child’s Wish Come True Foundation, Hospice, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and All Children’s Hospital. Jimmy hosted his own radio show, “Theatre Chat and This ‘n That,” interviewing Major Celebrity Stars from Broadway, Television, and Film.

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