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LA Theater Review


Splashed across the top of the program for this original musical adaptation is this bright description: "A happy new musical play for children!" The key word here is most definitely "happy." Brothers Grimm be damned: Storybook Theatre refuses to delve into anything dark or scary or evil. Not only do these shows, aimed at kids ages 3-9, have happy endings, they also have happy middles and beginnings. Problems such as those faced by Carly (Sela Victor), who really likes Prince Charming (a truly delightful Paul Denniston) and uses gifts of gold to get him to notice her, are presented with broad humor, big smiles, wide eyes, and generally a bouncy tune or two (book and lyrics by Lloyd J. Schwartz; music by Michael Paul).

Director Barbara Mallory Schwartz keeps an enjoyably goofy feel to the show, which offers plenty of opportunities for kids to participate and join in the fun or shout out advice. A strong cast, able to easily interact with the kids as well as entertain them, helps bolster the simple storytelling style, which eschews all things subtle in favor of grand pronouncements along the lines of,"And the moral is..." Adding to the likeability of Victor and Denniston are the bubbly Jacque Lynn Colton as Carly's Mom and spunky Kelly Stables as the cheerful title character.

Adults will likely get more pleasure out of their kids responding to and enjoying the show. But, hey, an hour in the theatre, watching your kid having a great time? That's a worthy happy ending, too.

Presented by Storybook Theatre at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L. A. Sat. 1 p.m. Oct. 22-Mar. 1. (818) 761-2203.

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