Friday, December 20, 2013

Review of The Strange Tree Group's The Dead Prince at DCASE Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Dead Prince. It sounds sort of like a horror show, but it is not. It is a hilarious musical. It was written by Emily Schwartz and it was directed by Paul S. Holmquist. It is about a Princess named Sara (Delia Baseman when I saw it, but usually Ann Sonneville) and a man named Will (Zachary Sigelko) and they are going to find the Princess's true love (Scott Cupper), but then they find out he's dead and that is not such good news. And there was this magic mirror named Maldorf (Michael Thomas Downey) who told them the Prince was dead and they have to take him along for directions. I think that this show is a really great show; it is fun but also scary and also sweet.

I really liked "The Bat Song." I thought it was really funny because all of them were just singing, "This is the song about all the bats" or something along the lines of that. And then they were using bat puppets and me and my dad and mom were going hysterical. It was really funny because they were just saying that and every single person was hiding under a blanket or something and bats were hovering over their heads. I think that the bat puppets (designed by Noah Ginex and Sarah Scanlon) were really cool but not really realistic either. I think they made them not super realistic because then it makes you feel more like you are in a fairy tale.

I really liked the character Princess Sara because she wasn't just like (Read this in a refined voice.) "I am a princess! You have to do everything…for ME!" I think that Princess Sara was a very cool princess, how she was looking for her true love instead of asking other people to do it for her or just waiting for her prince. Her true love was not actually the Dead Prince, it was Will who was a minstrel and was standing right in front of her and helping her through this entire journey. I think that Delia who had stepped in at the last moment did a really good job playing the part with a script in her hand. But I think that Ann would have been great too. I think that Delia did a really good job designing the costumes as well. My favorite costume I think was the Princess's costume. I think it was a really good idea to use ribbons for the blood when Diggs (Cory Aiello) gets his arm chopped off.

I really liked the mirror Maldorf. I thought that he was really really funny. When Sara was talking, he was in the background moving his arms and doing explosion sounds like boom shish shish boom. That was so funny because it wasn't so over the top that it wasn't funny; it was perfect on the funny chart. There was another cool magic character which was the old lady, otherwise known as Oh, Death (Amber Vaughn Robinson) who talked in a really weird way and I'm thinking about it and I am laughing. There was this time when Death was talking to Maldorf after she had taken some of his friends. I liked this because it was very tense and you didn't know if he was going to get back his friends or not. I think they did a really great job putting the characters that were usually funny into a suspenseful scene.

There was a thief who fell in love with somebody he was robbing and their names were Leopold (Dan Behrendt) and Tasha (Kate Nawrocki). But then the farmer who he was robbing got really angry because the thief was smooching his daughter. And they learned that it is better to be in love and not to just think that somebody is sexy. I really liked the farmer's daughter because she was very tough and I like tough girls. I know that she was tough because she took off Diggs' arm. I think that these characters are really awesome because they are not like any characters I usually see in a musical or fairy tale.

The Dead Prince was a really funny character. One of my favorite times was when he sat up and he grabbed the mandolin and started to play a really romantic song and then he fell over and said, "Oh no." That was really funny because you didn't know he was going to fall over and then he says "Oh no" and he says it in a very princely voice and then he has to get up again. Getting up again involves a lot of work. There was another really funny part that the Dead Prince did; when they were riding, he was asking about all the princely things to do. And since Princess Sara said hunting was princely, he said something along the lines of "Let's go out and shoot things together then."

People who would like this show are people who like tough girls, do-it-yourself princesses, and magic mirrors pretending to explode. I think this show should be for ages 8 and up. Some 7 year-olds might not be able to handle it but a lot of them could. This show closes this Sunday so you should go see it as fast as possible because it is amazing and I don't want anyone to miss this great experience.

Photos: Emily Schwartz

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