“The Princess Who Wouldn’t Wear Pink,” a new play by Joe Link, is probably fun for children. The play, which follows the journey of Princess Rose (Jennie Kies), who is on the way to a ball to surprise her father (Bryan Schlotfelt). The play incorporates audience participation to aid in Princess Rose’s assistance of various fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. The show is also only an hour long and very entertaining.
“The Princess Who Wouldn’t Wear Pink” is also quite a bit of fun for the adults. How the play portrays some characters is very fresh and news. For example, Rapunzel (Katie Knutson) is portrayed as being someone who sings all day, but really shouldn’t sing. Princess Rose is not a stereotypical princess, finding books and tools to be more interesting than her hair, which is ridiculed by the Narrator (Nathan Nelson). Instead of wearing a pink poofy dress, she wears a cross between overalls and a dress. But both her father and her mother (Mary E. Bardsley Vizecky) are fine with this and her interests help her in aiding those she encounters on her trip to the Castle Effadore.
The show features the message of being true to yourself. But while such a message would seem preachy with other shows, it sticks in the back of your mind with “The Princess Who Wouldn’t Wear Pink.” The show is so much fun, it avoids being preachy. There are some cleaver exchanges between Princess Rose and the omniscient narrator, sight gags of a dwarf being shot into the air, and delightful rhyming and wordplay, in addition to some lovely costumes. And what could be a better protagonist for a children’s play than a princess who loves geometry and math?
The performances, however, truly make the show enjoyable for the adults in the audience. All of the actors give excellent performances that aren’t campy and over-the-top. Even poor Humpty Dumpty (Rob Merritt), who panics and has a very short memory span, seems realistic; not like some cartoon character. The show is such a delight to watch that even someone who has an aversion to audience participation will probably find themselves giving directions to the characters. I say that because I find audience participation to be disdainful due to the fact that it tends to detract from the actual play. But somehow, the actors and Link found a way to make it work for this show. In addition, the use of the lawn where the show is performed is quite ingenious. For example, the show begins with the narrator describing, albeit inaccurately, Princess Rose as a stereotypical princess. Behold, there’s Rose, sitting in a tree that’s in the back of the seating area.
The show is truly an escape from the present problems and unless you break out into hives when surrounded by hoards of children, there is no reason why you should go to Brucemore for this show, which runs until Saturday with performances at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.. On top of that, tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Isn’t that quite a deal?