I am a huge fan of the Disney princess franchise, but that doesn’t mean I think that it’s flawless. I’ve always enjoyed fanart, etc. that pokes fun at the franchise, and happily, I found exactly that when I was lucky enough to have the time to see Disenchanted at Tampa, Florida’s The Straz Center a couple of weeks ago.
Disenchanted is a satirical musical revue wherein the princesses have had enough of the happily-ever-after crap and want to point out the flaws in their stories. It is, in a word, hysterical.
I also tremendously enjoyed her dynamic with the bubbly and ditzy Cinderella, played by Breanne Pickering. Fans of the show Reba may be reminded of the dynamic between Reba and Barbara Jean, and it works perfectly.
Another stand-out was Lulu Picart, who plays Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine (or, as they referred to her for what I assume were copyright reasons, Princess Balroubador). Picart may have been my favorite of the cast. Her comedic timing was perfect, and her physical comedy during one of the sketches had me in tears from laughing so hard. Not only is Picart a fantastic comic actress, but her rendition of ‘Honestly’ as Pocahontas is amazing. It goes from funny to a poignant song of Pocahontas raging at the system that changed her story from what, thanks to history, we know it truly was. Picart’s range is beautifully displayed in this song, and it tugged on my heartstrings HARD.
Now, to the songs. As I mentioned, ‘Honestly’ stood out from the rest because of its heartfelt lyrics and performance, but Sleeping Beauty’s ‘Perfect’ has some nice moments about being perfect just the way you are as well.
‘Big Tits’ hilariously comments on the sexism behind the physique of how the princesses are drawn and it, and ‘A Happy Tune’ mocks the sexist ideals that women should take care of the house. My favorite ensemble number was ‘All I Wanna Do Is Eat,’ in which the princesses wail about the great lengths they go to in order to preserve their figures. The mournful longing for “a Cheeto, a Dorito, a burrito” and The Little Mermaid’s surprise wish for what she’d like to eat nearly made me fall out of my seat from laughing.
If Disenchanted has a musical weakness, it’s ‘Not One Red Cent,’ which is a German-accented Rapunzel’s lamentation of the fact that the princesses don’t see any of the royalties from Disney. Though it had a giggle-inducing crowd engagement factor when Cinderella and Snow White joined in, it didn’t draw the laughs that the rest of the show did.
All in all, I highly, highly recommend Disenchanted to any Disney or fairy tale fans. If you’re in Tampa, the show is at the Straz Center until April 13, 2014. If not, and it comes to your city, don’t miss out!
I was ~enchanted with Disenchanted
P.S. Curious about some of the songs I mentioned? Some of them are on Spotify!