I spent Saturday afternoon surrounded by the color pink! Pink curtains, pink lights, pink costumes, pink frosting, pink fireworks, pink confetti… My 4-year-old daughter, her grandma, her aunty, and I all enjoyed Civic Theatre’s performance of Pinkalicous as did a crowd of other pink-wearing, pink-cupcake-eating girls.
For fans of the books, rest easy, the author herself helped write this musical and it stays remarkably true to the original story. Although played by an adult (Mary Lehmann), the Pinkalicous character is a very convincing child, complete with stubborn refusals and sibling squabbles that any parent will recognize. She’s all over the stage in exuberant enthusiasm, laughing, singing, dancing, pouting, stomping, and somehow magically transforming into both pink and red without the audience quite knowing how.
The biggest change is probably in the characters of the parents – they are more developed and have their own personalities and stories interacting within the plot. At first I was very turned off by the Dad’s negative comments toward his son’s love of pink but as the show progressed the reason behind this (his own scarring childhood experience with a bout of Pinkititus!) was revealed. All negative feelings about the color pink are thoroughly dealt with before the pinkatastic finale.
I have to say, I think the show might have been stolen by Andrew Playford’s performance of little brother Peter’s rendition of “I Got the Pink Blues” in which he laments that his father doesn’t think boys should like the color pink but asserts “It takes a strong boy to love the color pink.” The audience clearly agreed and responded with wild applause. Playford’s singing and acting skills are solid and all of us were delighted and astounded at his ability to keep a hoola hoop spinning around his waist as he performed, moving about the stage, gesturing with his arms, dropping to his knees, and never missing a note.
Coming in a close second for my favorite would be the dancing pink cupcakes! The costumes were impressive and their appearance on stage was very strange and dreamlike, toeing the line between cute and creepy. I think they hit just the right note there. Perhaps they’ll inspire a trend in Halloween costumes this fall?
If you love the color pink, secretly or publicly, then don’t miss this show. And bring any young fans of the color pink (girls and boys both)! In the meantime, check out this selection of Pinkalicous-themed books in our collection.