Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On Alliance Theatre's EVER AFTER
From award-winning songwriting team Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler (Junie B. Jones, Dear Edwina), and boasting a creative team led by Director Susan V. Booth (Troubadour) and Choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter (Disaster!), EVER AFTER celebrates the true magic at the heart of the beloved Cinderella tale - the strength of the human spirit.
EVER AFTER stars Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid) as Danielle de Barbarac, Tony Award-nominee David Garrison (The Visit) as Leonardo da Vinci, Jeff McCarthy (The Pirate Queen) as Pierre Malette, Tim Rogan as Prince Henry, and Drama Desk Award-winner Rachel York (Head Over Heels) as Baroness Rodmilla du Ghent.
On Saturday, January 26, the Alliance welcomed the EVER AFTER opening night audience to its transformed performance space following eighteen months of renovations. Designed by Trahan Architects in collaboration with artist Matthias Pliessnig, expert fabricators CW Keller + Associates, and digital imagers FARO Technologies, The Coca-Cola Stage is the perfect blend of art, architecture, and cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Manning Harris, Atlanta in Town Paper: Now comes a puzzlement: Despite all the color, romance, music and dancing (and it's seductive), the play itself is not as dramatically compelling as one would wish. The songs are fine and serviceable, but not terribly memorable. If the show aims for Broadway, and you know that Alliance Theatre has a history of that, there will be some major tweaking. This isn't bad; any show does that.
Wendell Brock, AJC: No doubt about it, Heisler and Goldrich deliver a finely wrought musical landscape that is beautifully realized by this company, which includes Atlanta actors Chris Kayser (as King Francis) and Terry Burrell (as his consort, Queen Marie), plus Jeff McCarthy (as the lecherous old Pierre Malette) and the fabulous Rachel York (as Danielle's arch stepmother, Rodmilla). Boggess is a lustrous and mesmerizing talent, well-nigh perfect as Danielle. Rogan's Prince Henry is also quite good, as a character who insists on eschewing custom (and a so-called "Spanish poodle" of a princess) to marry a commoner.
Sally Henry, BroadwayWorld: With Broadway dreams in sight, this adaptation can keep dreaming. Alongside forgettable songs, Marcy Heisler's self-aware book gets caught up in pandering to cynical audiences using 2019 jargon (like, "I'm totally hyperventilating right now") and apologizing for politically incorrect elements inherent in any mildly historically accurate Renaissance-era tale. The dumbed-down dialogue produces a few cheap laughs and robs the piece of any depth. EVER AFTER gets no legs, but rather sits exactly where the writers seem to be painstakingly trying to avoid: a shallow story with neither heart nor relevance.