BWW Review: DISENCHANTED at Prima Theatre
Once upon a time...
This phrase usually evokes the stereotypical ideas of damsels in distress, princes and princesses, and "happily ever after". Stories that begin with these words used to inspire us, filling our heads with fantasies of wanting to be a princess when we grew up. In recent years, however, we have become increasingly dissatisfied with the notion of the women in these tales needing saving or a prince to define who they are. We started searching for a bit more reality about what actually happens after those couples ride off into the sunset. This is where Disenchanted! comes in. Take ten beloved heroines from some of the world's most well known fairy tales. Instead of giving you the fluffy storybook myths that we are used to, these princesses rip those facades apart to show you what life is REALLY like after "the end". Hilarity ensues as these princesses divulge their juicy secrets in true vaudeville style. You may be tempted to bring your little ones to meet these princesses, but I highly recommend leaving them at home for this very adult princess party.
Prima Theatre's production of Disenchanted! made for an incredibly fun evening out. Director J. Scott Lapp and his team created a bright and lively atmosphere that was very reminiscent of some of the themed cabaret and variety shows that I have performed in and produced. The atmosphere of the stage and seating area were straightforward and elegant, true to vaudeville style shows. The lighting design (done by Tim Moser) really added to the experience. There were a couple of minor glitches in the sound throughout the evening, but they were fixed quickly and did not affect the show itself. The live band was small but mighty.
The props used throughout the show were a delicious contrast ranging from cheesy to refined depending on what the occasion called for. I found them to be very cleverly done... The Little Mermaid's giant clam shell and the storybooks were my personal favorites. Diana Nugent did a lovely job on costume design, though I found a couple of the shoe choices rather interesting and would be curious as to the reasoning behind them.
In this production, six stellar actresses carry out the roles of ten sassy princesses between them. Each actress nailed her character (or characters) with perfect grace and wit. The ladies who portray more than one princess did so beautifully, making each character completely unique. While most people are able to pick a favorite princess pretty easily, I simply could not choose between these fierce heroines and loved them all! Grab your fairy godmother, forget everything you thought you knew, and enter a whole new world with these powerful women. But hurry, because you've only got until midnight (or, according to Cinderella, 9:25). Well... okay... you've actually got three more weekends. Disenchanted! is running Fridays and Saturdays through February 23rd. Visit www.primalancaster.org and order your tickets soon though, because this is one princess posse you certainly don't want to be too late to catch!