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BWW Review: Circuit Entrances With PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL

I remember when, in the 1930's Shirley Temple vehicle POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL, poor Jack Haley and Alice Faye had to implore, "You've Gotta Each Your Spinach, Baby"; and in Circuit's charming (and short) production of PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL, with Book and Lyrics by Elizabeth and Victoria Kern and Music by John Gregor, poor "Mr. and Mrs. Pinkerton" (gleefully played by Marc Gill and Brooke Papritz) have a similar problem with their daughter "Pinkalicious" (the engaging Carly Crawford, A.K.A. "Peter Pan" during the Christmas holidays). It seems that the color-preoccupied pint-sizer has a condition known as "Pinkititis," wrought by an immoderate obsession with . . . dare I say it? . . . pink cupcakes -- MUDDY'S BAKERY, GIGI'S CUPCAKES, lock your doors!

What follows is an imaginatively staged, sweetly sung, and cleverly choreographed account of her helpless parents' plight, including a visit to Maggie Robinson's "Dr. Wink," whose diagnosis and suggested treatment provide much of the fun; and it is all embellished with imaginative costumes by Rebecca Y. Powell and a cartoon-come-to-life set (all Easter-colored pastels) by Kathy Haaga. It's interesting to note that a couple of the cast members -- Mr. Gill and Isaac Middleton as the heroine's rambunctious brother "Peter" -- are alternating these characters with those evening-gowned beauty contestants in PAGEANT, which has been staged in repertory with PINKALICIOUS. While their performances in PAGEANT are "tongue in cheek" and executed with a knowing wink, here they -- along with their castmates -- don't "play down" to their audience (need I say that the average patron was an underage tyke attired, not surprisingly, in . . . pink?) The youngsters clearly loved it: There's even a point when "Pinkalicious," looking for those cupcakes, engages a bit of audience participation, not unlike that in PETER PAN, when "Tinker Bell" is summoned back into existence.

As a superannuated member of the audience, I felt a little out of place at the beginning of the show; but the enthusiasm of the audience, the clever dancing (Director Courtney Oliver was responsible for this, with assistance from Maggie Robinson), and the infectiousness of the cast enlivened a brief part of my day. (One of my favorite numbers is "Buzz Off," with its twirling umbrellas and Mr. Gill's "Bee" costume.) There isn't a great "life lesson" here: Too much of a good thing can be bad. That could well have been the case of this sugary little indulgence had it run the length of an average show; fortunately, at just about an hour, it's not a problem at all. With Music Director Thomas Bergstig keeping those hummable songs bouncing along. Photo courtesy of Circuit Playhouse. Through April 10.

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From This Author Joseph Baker

I received my Master of Arts Degree in English from Memphis State University and worked as an English instructor at Christian Brothers High School from (read more...)