BWW Review: DISENCHANTED at BDT Stage
As children grow older, it is almost a requirement to leave the world of princesses and fairies behind you. But what happens when the princesses grow up too? This is where we find them in BDT's newest staging of Disenchanted.
Under the direction of BDT veteran, Alicia K. Meyers, Disenchanted is sure to leave you laughing. The scenic design by Amy Campion is simple, but with the use of some added props to certain scenes, it becomes that much more elevated. The proscenium design is quite appealing as well. Costumes by Linda Morken and Hair & Wig Design by Debbie Spaur work well together and provide a great re-imagining of the classic costumes we all know and love.
As Snow White, Jessica Hindsley is a great actress and strong vocalist. I would've also appreciated if she fed into that stereotypical high-pitched persona of Snow White and then pushed it to a new level, much like Tracy Warren as Cinderella - a caricature of a character. Warren as Cinderella does well as the lovable, yet perhaps not very smart, princess. Meyers, in addition to directing, steps out onto the stage as both The Little Mermaid and Belle and seems at home in both of her roles. As Hua Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine, Marijune Scott does a great job of solidifying three uniquely different characters that all pair well with her lovely mezzo-alto vocal tone. As The Princess Who Kissed the Frog, Anna High lends her soulful sound to the role, complemented by a strong, beautiful on-stage presence. The most captivating princess, however, is Annie Dwyer as Sleeping Beauty. The writing in the show allows for a strong comedic actor to "take it there" in this role and Dwyer does just that in what seemed like an original and outside the box interpretation. She played well (and with) the audience, and I'll never forget this moment with an audience member: "Where ya goin'?" "To Hell if I don't change my ways!"
At times, I struggle with coming to terms with where satire musicals fit into the musical theater canon. They can easily get too foolish for my taste and in that way, lack substance. Although for this production, I found myself laughing and smiling many times and left the theater feeling light-hearted. I suppose Disenchanted has found its place after all, complete with a happily ever after.