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'Disenchanted' headed Off-Broadway with local actors

In the grand tradition of fairy tales, this one is pointing toward a happy ending.

Disenchanted, a musical comedy about fractured storybook princesses that ran at Tampa's David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in the spring, has officially made its way Off-Broadway in New York. And several local performers are going with it.

Disenchanted will run for nine weeks at the Theatre at St. Clement's in New York, with previews starting on Nov. 26 and opening night on Dec. 4.

Alison Burns, a local force seen in Tampa Bay productions including American Stage's Rent and The Rocky Horror Show and Freefall Theatre's Man of La Mancha, will play Belle, the Little Mermaid and Rapunzel. Orlando's Lulu Picart will reprise the roles of Hua Mulan, Pocahontas and Princess Badroulbadour she had at the Straz. Picart is a regular on Tampa Bay stages, acting opposite Burns in Rent.

Serving as music director is Michael Raabe, whose long list of Tampa Bay musical direction credits include Freefall's The Burnt Part Boys and American Stage's The Rocky Horror Show, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Wiz.

Michelle Knight, who originated the role of Snow White in Orlando and continued it at the Straz, will also repeat her role in New York.

Disenchanted, written by former history teacher Dennis Giacino, follows Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan, the Little Mermaid, Pocahontas and more after the storybook has closed. The show premiered in 2011 at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival before coming to other U.S. cities including Tampa.

The princesses are all disgruntled with exploitation they've endured at the hands of Disney. They think it's time to be honest. In a fun series of cabaret-style songs, the Little Mermaid tells us she likes to drink and Mulan tells us she's a lesbian. In group number All I Wanna Do is Eat, the princesses lament their societal expectations to stay thin.

"I had some ribs removed last week, and I skip every breakfast buffet," they sing. "I breaststroke to Africa and back. I take hot yoga just to sweat out each snack."

The run inside the Jaeb Theater drew all kinds, but mostly women splitting bottles of wine for a fun night out.

If you'll be in New York and want to recreate the experience, get tickets early. They go on sale Sept. 18. Visit disenchantedmusical.com.

Contact Stephanie Hayes at shayes@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8716. Follow @stephhayes.

'Disenchanted' headed Off-Broadway with local actors 09/04/14 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2014 10:27pm]
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