Theater review: 'The Next Fairy Tale' at Celebration Theatre
“Enchanted” meets some friends of Dorothy in “The Next Fairy Tale,” Brian Pugach’s sweetly eager musical now at Celebration Theatre in Hollywood.
The first world premiere developed fully in-house at Celebration, “Fairy Tale” arrives with a sly gloss on the Brothers Grimm. Fairy Godmistress Minerva (Gina Torrecilla) chooses accident-prone Hazel (Rachel Genevieve), a godmother on probation, to stage-manage the next great story of Happily Ever After. Hazel’s mission? To aid the dashing Prince Copernicus (Christopher Maikish) in the rescue of his true love from an evil dragon. Catch is, Copernicus pines for another prince — the cookie-baking Helio (Patrick Gomez); when Minerva finds out, she’s not about to let two guys in tights share true love’s kiss.
Michael A. Shepperd directs with characteristic wit and energy, and the cast is game. Stephanie Fredricks' tart Dorothy Parker homage delights, sultry godmother Nell Teare vamps in a silver mini, and Maikish is pitch-perfect as a Pepsodent-smile royal who prefers a hug to a hunt.
Yet it’s not entirely clear for whom this “Fairy Tale” trolls. The show is too wide-eyed in tone (“Holy Toadstools!”) for Sondheim-savvy adult audiences, and too intricate to work as a school show promoting tolerance. A handful of good numbers suggest Pugach has an ear for a hit (“Cinderella Story” is a standout), but other songs feel disappointingly thin (“A Fairly Awful Fairy”). Celebration needs a story godmother, or at least another rewrite, to cast this buoyant gay-friendly fable in the best light.
-- Charlotte Stoudt
“The Next Fairy Tale” Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Ends April 24. $30. Contact: (323) 957-1884 or www.celebrationtheatre.com Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes.
Photo: Christopher Maikish, left, and Patrick Gomez as princes facing prejudice in "The Next Fairy Tale." Credit: Matthew Brian Denman.