Reviews

By Kim Cool

Venice Gondolier

March 27, 2019

With the magical set designing of Donna Buckalter and her husband Mark, the little black box theater known as Stage II at Venice Theatre is the scene of marvelous mayhem now through April 14.

“Disenchanted!,” a New Musical Comedy with book, music and lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino, pokes as much fun at the most famous of the fairytale princesses as possible without incurring the wrath of the legal team which Disneymaintains to guard its copyrights. It likely helps that these ladies were created by the Brothers Grimm long before there was such a thing as a copyright.

“Once upon a time and other Grimm verbiage is painted on the floor. Larger-than-life fairytale books fill the entry hallway. More such giant books serve as the stage and its background. Some of them even open to contents never imagined by those German brothers, but then they were writing “Happily ever after” tales and this production is not that at all.

Evidently, life in the palaces of these ladies, did not live up to their expectations.

With musical direction by Michelle Kasanofsky and absolutely perfect for the occasion choreography by Geena Ravella, who also directed “Disenchanted!” is simply enchanting, albeit in a somewhat saccharine way.

Sound is by Dorian Boyd with excellent costuming by Amanda McGee.

And, saving the best for last — the cast, which includes some terrific newcomers to the Venice stage. As Cinderella, Asia Stryker Dekle is a delight with an endless supply of facial expressions that add more depth to her story. Also new to Venice Theatre is Kelsey Azadian as Sleeping Beauty, whose character suffers a bit from narcolepsy perhaps. She too, like Baker, might steal the show if the entire cast were not so strong.

Also new to the Venice stage is Jamie Becker as Hua Mulan, a character she plays with body language and facial expressions used to the hilt.

Jennifer Baker, as Snow White is delightfully outrageous in her portrayal of a Snow White like no other. Perhaps she should have stayed with those dwarves.

Holly Mowry is Belle, the Little Mermaid, a drunken mermaid who would rather have her tail returned than deal with her legs and pantyhose.

Kelly Duyn as Rapunzel and Danielle Snellings as the princess who kissed the frog complete a perfect cast of imperfect princesses.

This is not a show for would-be princesses because of the wicked ways of some of these matrons, but for anyone who enjoys a bit of irreverent fun, this IS the show.