Theater Review: 'Disenchanted! Bitches of the Kingdom'

 

Theater Review: 'Disenchanted! Bitches of the Kingdom'

 

Date: March 8, 2012
by: Paula Atwell | Theater Critic

 
 

 

The bitches are back! The best show I saw at The Golden Apple last year has been brought back by popular demand. If the title doesn’t tell all, “Disenchanted! Bitches of the Kingdom” is about all those franchised princesses currently living happily ever after — pop culture lives of routine clichéd sameness in the land of Disney.

The hilarious new musical comedy revue was written by Dennis C. Giacino, book, music and lyrics, with additional lyrics by Fiely A.Matias. The play won awards at the 2011 Orlando International Fringe Festival including Patron’s Pick, Best of the Fringe, Best of the Fest, Best in Venue, Best National Show, Best of Orlando and the Producer’s Award and was extended numerous times. It won the New Jersey Playwright’s Award in 2010, and after two years of regional success, it truly should be on its way to Broadway.

Under the direction of Kyle Ennis Turoff, the show is fast, funny and fiercely satirical. The music is great, and the lyrics clever. Turoff’s choreography is amusing and lively. Musical Director Michael Sebastian keeps it upbeat all the way and, amazingly, is the sole musician, pounding away flawlessly in his little cubbyhole above the stage for two enjoyable hours.

Costume Designer David Walker has proudly outfitted the ladies to parody their animated origins. These princesses are pissed off, and these 10 talented actresses tell us all about it. It’s “The Vagina Monologues” on acid and set to a rollicking beat.

The song “Insane!” riffs on all the chores and activities stereotypically assigned to women. Claiming their lot in life to be “a royal pain in the ass,” Jenn Baker as Snow White, Mari Bryan as Cinderella and Alex Torres as Sleeping Beauty, play the main parts and are entertaining and individually delightful in their roles.

Roberta MacDonald shines in multiple roles as “Secondary Princess,” including notables such as Esmeralda and Tinker Bell, lamenting her second fiddle to the male status and facetiously threatening to harm certain bodily parts.

Jenn Abreu is winningly wry as Mulan, who in the song, “Without the Guy,” speculates that she must be a lesbian. Beautiful Aileen Suseck, as Pocahontas, sings “Crazy Hair” and bemoans the fact that she’s been demoted from dignified Indian princess to half-dressed bimbo. Hilary Kraus, as the Little Mermaid, is charming as she regrets that she’s given up her fins for high heels, blisters and shaving nicks. Helen Holliday, as Rapunzel, plays it as German dominatrix and belts out “Not V’One Red Cent” in a rant against the complete lack of royalties paid to them by Disney. Ellie Pattison, as Belle, complains of picking up the Beast’s poop. And Ariel Blue is electric as the Frog Princess, who’s “finally gone black.”

Out of all of these great songs, my favorites are sung by the whole cast. The farcical “Big Tits,” and “All I Wanna Do is Eat” are fabulously funny and delightfully delivered.

 

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