”They all lived Happily Ever After”! That is how almost every Fairy Tale ends, be it Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Andersen or a Disney production, the princess always gets her man (so to speak). Well, it seems that a teacher , Dennis T. Giacino has decided to set the record straight with his novel little look at “princesses”, the musical “Disenchanted” now on the stage at Broadway Playhouse as a feature of Broadway In Chicago’s season. Many theater-goers may recall Mary Rodgers look at the “Happily Ever After” in her “Once Upon A Mattress” musical, where Winifred the Woebegone examines the fate of some of these famous ladies of “literature”. That was a funny bit! This is not quite up to that standard. In fact, even the little bits relative to famous princesses in Sondheim’s “Into The Woods” is far cuter than what Giacino has created.
This specialty show- 90 minutes of what they call Royal Vaudeville- is the perfect outing for a “bachelorette party” or a “girls night out”! In fact, the more drinks before and during this show, the better it will appear to be. I will tell you that the six ladies who are in the show have tremendous vocal range, very sexy moves and high energy. Our show opens with the greeting by Snow White (Merritt Crews, who has a dynamite voice and a flirtatious smile) who becomes our M.C. , Cinderella (the adorable Madison Hayes-Crook) and Sleeping Beauty (deftly handled by Daniella Richards).
Along the way, they are joined by other ladies of the “Fairy Tale” such as Belle, Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid (all played to sheer perfection by the lovely Miriam Drysdale), Hua Mulan, Pocahontas and Princess Badroulbadour ( the very cutesy Ann Paula Bautista) and The Princess Who Kissed A Frog ( Uche Ama handles this one with great “soul”) as they bring us numbers like “One More Happily Ever After”, “Insane” (the song that Belle does after having to marry the Beast and clean up his poop while having the silverware dance around the house), “All I Want To Do Is Eat” (an homage to the way that Princesses must remain thin), “Perfect” and of course the finale “Once Upon A Time”. There is one title that I will not mention, but it refers to why the Prince wants the girl- because she has Bit T—-! I tell you this, only to make sure you understand this is an R RATED show. Do not bring the little princesses in your house to Water Tower Place for this one!
“Disenchanted” is at heart a clever idea but may be in need of some additional work. Some of the bits are indeed adorable. Sleeping Beauty falling asleep and being pushed by Cinderella’s broom turns out to be one of the funniest bits as Sleeping Beauty yells out “not now Pinocchio”. This was adorable (both times) and some of the song lyrics were clever. Director Christopher Bond kept the ladies movement to a minimum and there were times that people were blocked from seeing their expressions. The music, not being live ,is a detriment to the production. It is louder than it should be, making it hard to hear the clever lines and the ladies had no choice but to continue singing despite the audience reacting to a comical moment here and there. You cannot have a showstopper number when the orchestra is in a recording studio.
“Disenchanted” is here for a short run- closing June 5th with performances as follows:
Wednesdays 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays 7:30 p.m.
Fridays 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays 2 and 8 p.m.
Sundays 2 and 6 p.m.
NO evening performances on May 22nd and 29th and no Matinee on Wednesday, June 1st
Tickets range in price from $35.75- $78.75 ( don’t ask me how they came up with numbers like this) and can be purchased at the box office located at 175 East Chestnut (just East of Michigan Avenue) adjacent to Water Tower Place, by calling 312-977-1710, and of the other Broadway In Chicago box offices, at their Chicago Ticketline, 800-775-2000 at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com
Discount parking is available with validation and can be pre-purchased at www.BroadwayInChicago.com
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Disenchanted”