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Pinkalicious the Musical


Live theater! Anything can happen when we see a production, “live”. Today, at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, the youngsters who were in attendance at their opening of “Pinkalicious the Musical” indeed had a lesson in reality, as it happens in the theater. The full house of families ( mainly little girls, dressed in pink), were ready to watch the musical adaptation of Victoria and Elizabeth Kahn’s popular children’s book “Pinkalicious”, as was I. In fact, the production began after all the typical announcements. But as life is stranger than fiction, we could not hear any of the sound from Landree Fleming’s character, Pinkalicious. The other members of the family, Mrs. Pinkerton ( the delightful Lillian Castillo), Mr. Pinkerton ( Adam LaSalle, who is a man of many talents) and brother Peter ( divinely handled by Wade Elkins). were as clear as a bell.

Seated a few seats to my left was the director/choreographer Amanda Tanguay, who I could see was in “panic mode”. I was checking my hearing aids when she left our row and the next thing I knew, she was heading on the stage with a hand held mic, announcing that we indeed “had a problem”. The show was stopped, the actors left the stage and Ms Tanguay expressed her plan to correct the problem and all that was needed was about 10 minutes. During the time when they were doing these adjustments, the audience in the “theatre for young audience” production was privy to something added- the pre-stage “set-up” of props and set pieces. The tech people came on the stage with the correct props that were to be there at the start, and they also removed the items that are brought on the stage by the actors. We were “in on” something that normal audiences never see! Great!

One of the highlights of this program at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is that after the one hour musical production, the actors come on the stage and speak to the children about the show and the theater and answer questions, thus educating and enlightening children who may be experiencing their first “live” theater experience. Today, they were given a double dose of theater education and I only hope they understand the specialness of the actual events of the day. I found this to be a true theatrical experience and wish my grandkids could have experienced it with me.

Since mine could not be with me, I invited a friend to bring his kids, and one of his daughters did come with her friend and mother. The girls, Emily Steinberg , 10 , and Juliana DiLegge, also 10 and both fifth grades said:

The girls enjoyed the play and “thought it was super cute”. When asked how they would rate the show, they said” 9 out of 10″. note: in the book, Pinkalicious has brown hair, not blond like in the play. ( oh my, kids can be so critical). “They felt the show was entertaining and their favorite part was at the doctor’s office- with the great tap dancing and the doctor’s quick costume change. My sentiments exactly. Good eye girls. Thanks.

The show is a fun-filled story about a little girl who loves the color pink. Of course, since her name is Pinkalicious, one might wonder why they should expect otherwise. Being that this is an in-the-round theatre and is used at night for Marriott’s main production, the set for this show is pretty simple and designed to move things off and on easily with no breaks in the story. Besides the Pinkerton family, there are very few characters and all of them are played by the other cast members with special notice of Allison Sill handling her best friend Allison and Dr. Wink ( her tap dance number and great costume change, right on the stage) is an amazing piece of theater-bravo, Allison!.

What I found different in this production is the inspiration they have brought into the story from children’s musical instruments and a fun-filled script. The musical director, Michael Mahler, who himself is a composer and write of a children’s musical, understands kid likes and loves and it shows in the handling of the onstage music as handled by this powerful cast. “Pink” cannot stop eating her pink cupcakes even though she is told that this is not healthy. She ends up turning pink and has to go to Doctor Wink, who tells her that she has “pinkitus” and in order to keep it from becoming worse has to eat “other colors”, mostly greens! While she loves being pink, she tries to change but ends up eating even more cupcakes, turning her “red” ( not a place she wants to be). How can she change and how did she get this way. This all unfolds in this adorable adaptation of the darling story.

On the tech side, the set pieces and properties are by Rachel Rauscher, the delightful costumes by Jesus Perez, the lighting by Nick Belley and Aaron Lorenz and the sound ( also the fixer of the sound) by Robert E. Gilmartin.