Sing, Sing a Song

28 08 2010

Sometimes a castle just isn't enough, as you'll find out in Happily Ever After?

If it seems like there’s a lot of musicals at the Fringe this year, you’re right. I count eight—Smalltown, 13, Z-Day, Phil the Fluter’s Ball, Joe’s Cafe, The Cardboard Castle, Mahagonny Songspiel and Happily Ever After?—with another five if you add in the music-heavy likes of Canning Season, Reckless Daughters, Die Roten Punkte, Route 66 and Breakfast in Vegas. Maybe it’s the Glee factor, maybe it’s the fact that there’s a growing appreciation for this oft-criticized theatrical genre, but whatever the reason, it’s nice to hear a few more songs filling out the Fringe lineup.

But if you can’t get into Z-Day—where the combination of positive buzz and an enormous cast seem to be packing them in—and you’re hampered by the 6:00 timeslot of Smalltown, why not check out the likes of Happily Ever After? at one of this year’s new venues, Langham Court.  Talking to one of the cast at Fringekids this afternoon (where an unexpected appearance by Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Snow White was enough to cause a mini-mob scene by the under-12 set), it sounds like there’s a lot to like in this charmer about life after fairy tale endings. And, while they were regularly selling out their houses at the Edmonton Fringe (and garnering 3.5  to 4.5 star reviews), their first show here only played to about a half house. Another good reason to go is that their run wraps up early, playing daily only till Tuesday. S0unds like a good bet for an unexpected fave to me. Just be sure to leave the young ones at home—while it may look like Disney, word is there’s more to these princess diaries than you’ll find in the cartoons.

—John Threlfall

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