Disenchanted! OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Matthew Murphy
  • NY TIMES

  • EW

  • TM

Opening Night:
December 4, 2014
Closing:
January 25, 2015

Theater: 37 Arts Theatre / 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY, 10018

Synopsis: 

Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ‘em?! Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in the new musical comedy that’s anything but Grimm. Forget the princesses you think you know. After multiple sold-out runs nationwide, these royal renegades toss off their tiaras to bring their hilariously subversive, not-for-the-kiddies musical to New York City–and fairy tales will never be the same!

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Disenchanted!

    Beneath the Tiara, a Lot of Attitude

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    December 17, 2014: Cinderella is kind of a nitwit, Snow White can be a little mean, and Sleeping Beauty? Narcoleptic, apparently. When it comes to fairy-tale princesses, those are the Big Three, but in Dennis T. Giacino’s Disenchanted!, they’re not the way Disney, let alone the Brothers Grimm, drew them. In this musical comedy for grown-ups, directed by Fiely A. Matias at the Theater at St. Clement’s, the trio lead an all-princess revue aimed at upending their popular portrayals. “Misguided messages,” insists Snow White (Michelle Knight), who can get a bit preachy. “They make us look weak,” complains Sleeping Beauty (Jen Bechter). “Like helpless damsels in distress,” adds Cinderella (Becky Gulsvig). But this is feminism light, with sparkly costumes (by Vanessa Leuck) and high heels to keep the fantasy alive. A “ho” joke isn’t beneath the playwright’s dignity, and when the princesses rail against princes who expect them to do all the housework, the show feels like a girls’-night-out retro rebellion for the suburban oppressed.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Disenchanted!

    Disenchanted! Review

    Esther Zuckerman

    December 4, 2014: Disenchanted!—a new musical playing Off Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clement's through Jan. 25—fancies itself a sort of Avenue Q for the princess set. The comedy, which originated in Orlando, feels like counterprogramming to the theme-park stage shows that overrun that sunny town. But unfortunately, in big bad NYC, these ladies end up as flat on the stage as their Disney counterparts on a cel. Structured as a variety show hosted by Snow White (bossy), Cinderella (ditzy), and Sleeping Beauty (boisterous when she's not asleep), various princesses sing their tales of woe. Mulan is a not-so-traditionally-feminine princess who thinks she's a lesbian. The Little Mermaid is—inexplicably—a drunk and bitter redneck sore over having two working legs. Belle is in a straitjacket because she's been talking to the dishware.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Disenchanted!

    Snow White and her disgruntled fairy-tale pals air grievances in this quirky revue

    Pete Hempstead

    December 4, 2014: Anyone who has ever taken issue with the way female characters are depicted in animated films like CinderellaBeauty and the Beast, and Mulan will find Disenchanted!, now playing at the Theatre at St. Clement's, a revelation. This musical revue dares to take on culture-shapers like Disney, and tackles the prejudices and neuroses that its characters, so the show implies, inflict on impressionable minds. Watch any of the movies that Disenchanted! satirizes and you'll probably realize that the show makes some good points about the kinds of biases these movies might be guilty of. But Disenchanted!'s music and lyrics aren't as consistently entertaining as they are edifying. The tricky thing about a show like this is getting a message across without getting bogged down by it. At issue here is something called the Princess Complex: "that age-old idea," says show host Snow White (Michelle Knight), "in which you are only desirable and valid if you are a beauty-obsessed, ditzy, insecure, Bambi-like waif." Snow White is not the only disgruntled party. Accompanied by a three-member band (Michael Raabe, Bobby Brennan, and Gregg Monteith), Knight and five other women treat us to their vocal stylings and comedic talents as they inhabit 10 characters who rail against animated portrayals of themselves as diffident, codependent, perfectly proportioned, heterosexual stereotypes of femininity. Knight, with her warbling soprano, gives a delightfully rowdy performance alongside the hilarious, blank-staring Becky Gulsvig as a featherbrained Cinderella and the ebullient Jen Bechter as the loudly snoring Sleeping Beauty.

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