Ma vie en rose


Books and Lyrics by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann
Music, Lyrics and Musical Direction by John Gregor
Directed by Suzu McConnell-Wood / Assistant Director Kerry McGuire
Choreography by Dax Valdes
Vital Children’s Theatre at the Soho Playhouse (
15 Vandam Street
Non-equity production (Sat. and Sun. 12 pm, open-ended run; for tickets call 212-691-1555 or visit
Review by Byrne Harrison

Pinkalicious is a girl with a problem. She’s so in love with the color pink that she put all the pink coloring in the cupcakes her mom was making. Then she couldn’t stop eating them. She ate so many that she came down with Pinkititis, a disease that turned her pink from head to toe. At first she’s thrilled, but she eventually realizes that a world without other colors isn’t that much fun.

Based on their children’s book of the same name, Pinkalicious was adapted for the stage by local writers and sisters Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, who were assisted by John Gregor (composer and lyricist of last year’s Vital production, The Bully). The show is clever, funny, and teaches some lessons about temperance and family, which is always a plus. Gregor’s music varies from bubble gum pop to the blues, giving the show an eclectic feel and showing off his talents with various genres. Director Suzu McConnell-Wood demonstrates once again her skill with children’s theatre, keeping the show moving quickly and the action engaging enough to keep even the youngest members of the audience rapt throughout the play.

Sarah Peak (who alternates the role of Pinkalicious with Meg Phillips) is endearing as the cupcake-gorging heroine. Alan Houser is amusing as her annoying little brother, Peter, who, even though he is a boy, loves pink nearly as much as his sister. Danny Rooney and Michelle Czepyha play Mr. and Mrs. Pinkerton, Peter and Pinkalicious’ overworked parents. Completing the cast is J’nelle Bobb-Semple as Pinkalicious’s friend Allison and Dr. Wink, who diagnoses her Pinkititis (like Peak and Phillips, she alternates the roles with Molly Gilman). The actors are good singers. Peak and Houser have remarkable voices, Houser bringing down the house with the show’s blues number. As dancers, the cast is perhaps a little weak, though the fault could lie with Dax Valdes’ fairly tame choreography. Regardless, it is more than enough to impress the children in the audience.

During audience participation, and there is some in Pinkalicious, children under ten can get rambunctious. The cast, Peak in particular, is adept at acknowledging the children, while cleverly getting them back on track and into the action of the play.

Set designer Mary Hamrick has created a bright, interesting, and remarkably mobile set that works well with Sarah Levine’s costumes and is brought to life by Nathan Elsener’s lighting design. From the moment the children enter the theatre, they have something colorful and pretty to look at.

After each show, the children are invited to meet the cast (the playbills have a section for autographs) and buy pink cupcakes of their own. Luckily there have been no reports of Pinkititis yet.

Pinkalicious is billed as being appropriate for children from 3 to 12. The audience skewed toward the younger range on Saturday’s performance, and several of the children were obviously repeat customers. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your family, dress them in a little pink and visit Pinkalicious. It has something for girls, boys, and, best of all, parents.

Box Score:

Writing: 2

Directing: 2

Acting: 2          

Sets: 2

Costumes: 2

Lighting/Sound: 2

Copyright 2007 Byrne Harrison

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