Outskirts has a ball coloring princesses outside the lines in ‘disenchanted’
By MARILYN JOZWIK
Published March 4, 2019
What happens when fairy tale princesses get fed up with their princes and their princessly portrayals? In the adult, anti-fairy tale, “Disenchanted: The Musical,” they form a group of dissidents who get all their anger off their bosoms.
Director Ryan Albrechtson and his Outskirts Theatre found nine anti-princesses to rant and rave in one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. It isn’t often that you wish a show could go on and on, but this was one of those times. Yet, as Cinderella (Emma Losey) said, it wasn’t midnight, but 9:25 p.m. that the shenanigans had to end or they’d turn into… real fairy tale princesses? Horrors!
What we do know is that it’s a shame this hilarious show with catchy clever tunes and fun choreography only had a two-night run at Waukesha Civic Theatre.
The 13 numbers in the show feature a variety of princesses with a variety of irreverent, alternate versions of their stories (as, mostly, portrayed by Disney). “Happy ever after can be a royal pain in the ass,” says one character, as they “bust out a little princess show of their own.”
We learn that all is not happy in princessdom. In “Insane,” Belle (Francesca Steitz) is going crazy over all the goings on in the Beast’s castle commenting on all the animated objects, such as “That little chipped cup (that) just won’t shut up.”
In “Two Legs,” a flipperless Ariel (Caitlin Pilon) sings, “I swapped the Seven Seas for a boy and a pair of these,” looking down at her legs.
Hua Mulan (Jennifer Clark) wonders why “I’m the only princess here without the guy. I might be lesbian!” in the tune “Without the Guy.”
Rapunzel (Megan B. Wilson) can’t believe that even though her image – and other princesses’ images -- are everywhere, there is no remuneration, no royalties as she sings “Not V’One Red Cent.”
Ashley Levells ended Act I with a rousing, raucous anthem to the neglected black fairy tale heroines in “I am the storybook princess … that’s finally gone black.”
Every tune in this finely tuned show was a gem, a surprise package wrapped up in Dennis T. Giacino’s clever book, music and lyrics performed in all-out camp by this talented crew. Fairy Godmother, i.e. Julie Johnson, music director and pianist, and musicians Ken Marchand (drums) and Tim Dondlinger (bass) rocked the music all night onstage and occasionally joined the capers.
All performers created distinctive, quirky characters that revealed the underbelly, so to speak, of the princesses, with hilarious results. Albrechtson let these loose ladies loose and they scampered with abandon, never missing an opportunity to add something fun.
There were few props and virtually no set design, yet Jazmin Aurora Medina’s overdone costumes served as eye candy, starting with Snow White’s dominatrix look and Rapunzel’s equally imposing fraulein, to the gauzy, crinoline looks of Snow White and Ariel, all with an updated edge. Each costume was a visual treat. No set needed.
Even the audience got into the act during “Big Tits,” in which a couple of beachball boobs were sent flying into the audience and bounded back to the stage.
While all the performances were well done, I especially enjoyed Paige, as Snow White, who served as a sort of narrator/MC, along with Losey’s ditzy blonde Cinderella and Gabriella Ashlin’s somnambulant Sleeping Beauty. Paige perfectly presented monologue in “P” was a crowd favorite.
Ashley Rodriguez sang a beautiful, haunting “Honestly,” portraying Pocahontas questioning the oft-told story’s representation of the famous Native American as she sings, “Why wasn’t my story told honestly.” In one of the few serious moments, Rodriguez gave the tune nuanced inflections and reached some marvelous crescendos, while not missing any of the irony. Rodriguez as Princess Baldroulbadour also broke out some of the best dance moves of the night in Paige’s nicely choreographed pieces.