BWW Review: THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang -- soon to be a movie musical from Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez!
Yesterday, Playbill broke the news that the critically acclaimed graphic novel THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang will be the next project for husband-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who previously worked together on the music for Disney's Frozen, Coco, and Frozen 2. Robert is a two-time EGOT winner -- he is the youngest to win the award, to have won it in the shortest amount of time, and to have won it more than once. He broke out with his work co-writing Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.
The duo are now working on a new movie musical alongside Amy Herzog, who was a Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist in 2013 for her play 4,000 Miles. They are also working with producing behemoth Marc Platt, who has done movie musicals such as Mary Poppins Returns, Rent Live! and Disney's live-action Aladdin. Platt is currently working with Disney to adapt The Little Mermaid as a live-action film and to bring Dear Evan Hansen, in which his son Ben Platt originated the Tony winning title role, to the big screen.
Today, to piggy-back on the exciting movie news for anyone interested in learning more about the book, you've come to the right place!
How can you be yourself in a world where expectations rest squarely on your shoulders? When you're Prince of the Realm, you don't get to live your own life. You must think about your kingdom and what they need as well as yourself. But tampering the magic that makes you you is also destructive. Prince Sebastian knows he'll be mocked and ridiculed if he gives in to his love of dresses and the way he feels himself in them, but he isn't daring enough to go out in public until he finds the answer to his conundrum in a talented dressmaker named Frances. Together, they take the kingdom by storm and create a new fashion icon, but they're in hiding and secrets always have a way of bubbling over...The graphic novel has the feel of a fairy tale while being its own original story. It's about a prince who loves to wear dresses, even though he has to do secretly, and the dressmaker who keeps his secret. The two become fast friends, and the story has so many awesome feels, and I JUST CAN'T. Plus, spoilers! It's actually really hard to talk about this one, especially since some of the bits that resonate most come at the end, but this is such a moving story. It's an important one, too, and the fact that a movie is being made and that Sebastian is going to be a role model for children everywhere and celebrate going against the odds to be yourself and live your best life is an occurrence that wouldn't have happened even five years ago. That it can happen now is a huge sign of progress, and we need more stories like this one to share with today's youth. I've read THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER multiple times since its publication, and it still gives me just as many feels with each new read. I know this is a a short, not super-informative review, but again, spoilers. I highly recommend going into this one blind; you'll fall in love with the characters and be rooting for them to embrace their dreams and somehow make it work!
Do yourself a favor and pick up THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER this weekend. Pick up a copy for yourself, and another to give as a gift. Spread the word about the upcoming movie musical and lets generate some early buzz to propel it to completion, because this story deserves to be told, and this project is an exciting way to share it!