Disney is well known for taking traditional fairy tales and making them more kid-friendly, and at the core is the roster of beloved Disney Princesses. But according to the musical Disenchanted, these princesses have bones to pick with the way they’ve been portrayed in the films.
CitySurfing Orlando caught one of the first shows in its current run at Plaza Live! Orlando last night, and we were laughing from the first song.
The night kicks off with Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty discussing their portrayals in the movies. They then bring out Belle to sing her of troubles living in a castle with talking furniture and a super hairy guy.
But it’s Hua Mulan who delivers the first twist of the night in her solo song, singing about why she doesn’t have a Prince to call her own.
Ariel follows, only this princess has taken to drinking to get over her issues. She then joins the rest of the princesses (with Pocahontas taking the place of Mulan) to bemoan the unrealistic body shapes given them by the animators.
Rapunzel shows up to remind us that several of the Disney princesses actually have German roots in a song that calls for the lights to be turned up on the audience as we’re invited…nay…demanded to sing for her.
Following a brief intermission, we hear from two new characters, Princess Badroulbadour (aka Princess Jasmine) and “The Princess who Kissed the Frog,” who each sing about Disney’s track record with diversity.
For me, the funniest song of the night is “All I Wanna Do is Eat,” during which the princesses sing about always being hungry. And it’s especially funny when Ariel talks about just how hungry she is.
Sleeping Beauty gets her own song at the end, and it’s about being happy with the way you are. I could really relate to this song.
Each of the performers stand out it their own ways, but MVP goes to Ann Paula Bautista who knocked it out of the park with feisty and heartfelt turns as Hua Mulan, Pocahontas, and Princess Badroulbadour. I also loved Daniella Richards portrayal of Sleeping Beauty.
I really enjoyed this show, which actually had its start at the Orlando Fringe in 2011. It will be at Plaza Live! for shows daily through April 20, except for April 16 (Easter). Tickets start at $37, and are available at plazaliveorlando.org.
Don’t miss it while it’s in town! It really is a wonderful and hilarious production. But leave the kids at home – this is an adult-friendly show.
[Top photo: photographer: Dahlia Katz]
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