He's a young boy who hates rules and wants to do his own thing. She's a free-wheeling tooth fairy who secretly desires to settle down on the Upper West Side. Sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn't it? But as Oliver and the Tooth Fairy soon find out, sometimes getting what you want isn't as much fun as it seems. Along the way, they have adventures - some fun, some not so fun - and learn valuable lessons about themselves and others. While they're at it, they sing and dance, because this is a Vital Children's Theatre production, and that's what they do best.
A (Tooth) Fairy Tale is a charming and amusing story. Playwright Ben H. Winters keeps the children entertained with broad humor and a host of funny characters, but remembers that there are adults in the audience and throws in some jokes for them as well. Rick Hip-Flores' music and lyrics complement the story nicely. While one or two of the numbers are a little too quiet and slow for the younger children, most of his tunes are peppy and, when combined with the charming young cast and Dax Valdes' choreography, keep the kids completely in the moment, no small feat.
The cast, admirably led by the buoyant John Magalhaes and Jarusha Ariel (Oliver and the Tooth Fairy, respectively), is a talented bunch. While Magalhaes and Ariel have the meatiest roles and do a marvelous job with them, the rest of the cast (Chris Braca, Jordan Hamessley, Erik Hogan, Holly Buczek, and Kristina Teschner) deserves praise for their yeoman’s duty of playing all the other roles in the show. Though a small cast, the play features a large number of characters. Costume designer Hunter Kaczorowski has his hands full clothing the various characters, but does a terrific job.
Jacquelyn Marolt’s set is bright and surprisingly versatile. With only a few changes, it can be a school, bedroom, baseball field, or a busy street in Manhattan. Despite the many scene changes, director Linda Ames Key keeps the pace fast, a necessity in children’s theatre.
A (Tooth) Fairy Tale is a fun and entertaining show, suitable for even some of the younger children. If you decide to see A (Tooth) Fairy Tale, be sure to make reservations. As Vital's reputation grows, so does the number of sold-out shows.
Copyright 2008 by Byrne Harrison
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