It’s Curtain Up!
Pinkalicious opens at Theatre of Youth for Curtain Up!
Illustration by J.P. Thimot
September means the start of the theater season and the unique opening to it that is Buffalo’s Curtain Up! CU! Means not just a great party on Main Street, but theaters putting forth their best offerings to kick off the new season.
Pinkalicious the Musical
Theatre of Youth
Book and lyrics by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann; Music and lyrics by John Gregor
To kick off its season, Theatre of Youth brings back the popular Pinkalicious, based on the popular book series and now a PBS television show. The titular character is played by Sabrina Kahwaty, who talks to us about playing the girl who loves pink!
Please describe Pinkalicious in your own words.
Pinkalicious is about a young girl who loves anything pink, especially pink cupcakes. Against her parents’ demands, she eats too many and turns pink! As she finds a way back to her normal skin tones, she learns that “there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.”
This is a return of the show; why is it such a favorite?
Kids love Pinkalicious because of her enthusiasm and excitement. She is also an honest representation of a child—she wants what she wants, she asks many times, and she doesn’t like when her parents say no. Kids can relate to that. The music is also lively and fun, and it’s neat to see a character turn pink and back again onstage!
Why is the character a good role model for children?
Because she learns the important lessons of self-control and moderation, which aren’t easy. She makes mistakes and has to fix them. She is also loving, and her friends and family are very important to her.
When doing theater for children, what are you most conscious of?
You have to keep your energy high! That’s important for any show, of course, but if you don’t win a kid’s attention right away, it’s hard to get it at all and once you have it, you have to try not to lose it. Children are an honest audience—if they love it or hate it, you’ll know. It’s also important to portray these characters honestly and not in a condescending way. Telling stories for kids is just as important as telling them for adults, and doing it honestly is the only way to do it justice. For many children, coming to TOY is their first time in a theater, and I feel a responsibility to make it a positive experience.
What are you most looking forward to about the show?
I am excited for the challenge of bringing such an iconic character to life! This is the most challenging role I’ve ever had just in terms of amount of material and stage time, so I’m looking forward to that experience, but I’m mostly excited to get to tell this story kids love so much.
What is your favorite part of the story?
My favorite part of the story is when Pinkalicious eats the green food, because she decides to be brave and do what she needs to do, even though she is scared it will be unpleasant. Plus, the song “Green Food” is really fun.
Please add anything else about the show that you think grandparent readers might want to know.
After every performance, there is a talkback with the cast during which audience members may ask questions and learn about the show, then have an opportunity to come up onstage and have your picture taken with the cast!
Tickets: theatreofyouth.org, 716-884-4400
by Colin Speer Crowley
Winner of the 2017 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition, Philosophus is receiving its world premiere at Alleyway Theatre for Curtain Up! “It’s not unusual for our new plays to undergo edits and rewrites beginning as much as twelve to eighteen months before they are ready to be put into a season schedule, but Philosophus is one of those rare scripts that came to us ready for first rehearsal,” says Alleyway Artistic Director Neal Radice. “It is also not unusual for a play described as a comedy to not succeed in making me laugh during first reading, but Philosophus had me laughing out loud from the first page.”
The year is 1757. The great philosopher Voltaire, along with his trusted companion Collini, is on the run. It seems Voltaire has stolen a treasured notebook from Frederick The Great and the monarch’s men have him surrounded in the German city of Frankfurt. “The playwright describes it as a ‘historical farce,’” says Radice. “Alleyway Theatre is dedicated to staging the play as it is imagined by the playwright, that is, not imposing some directorial conceit. The only variation I have made is casting a male actor in a female role, which the playwright has not only approved, but heartily endorsed.”
The play comes with a subtitle that makes clear its style and wit: “A true and terrible recounting of the horrible events to befall one François-Marie Arouet, otherwise known as ‘Voltaire,’ at the vile hands of despotism and tyranny, as represented by Baron Franz von Freytag and his insidious persecution of said philosopher, which, over the course of a few weeks, dictated the fate of liberty and freedom in the historical trajectory of Western civilization.” Promises Radice: “It’s as absurd, off-beat, and funny as it sounds, and I have a perfectly funny cast: Christopher Standart, Andrew Zuccari, James Cichocki, Emily Yancey, and Chris J. Handley as Voltaire,” Radice says.
Tickets: alleyway.com, 716-852-2600
Playwright Donna Hoke writes about theater for Buffalo Spree and Forever Young.
Opening for Curtain Up! 2018
Heathers: the Musical
American Repertory Theater of Western New York
By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy
Tickets: artofwny.org, 697-0837
Irish Classical Theatre
By Clifford Odets
Tickets: irishclassicaltheatre.com, 853-4282
Music by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler
Tickets: kavinokytheatre.com, 829-7668
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Tickets: musicalfare.com, 839-8540
Paul Robeson Theatre
Book by Ossie Davis, Philip Rose, and Peter Udell
Music by Gary Geld
Lyrics by Peter Udell
Tickets: aaccbuffalo.org, 884-2013
O’Connell and Company presents Gentlemen Prefer Divas
By Mary Kate O’Connell and others
Tickets: oconnellandcompany.com, 848-0800
Subversive Theatre Collective
By Rad Bradbury
Tickets: subversivetheatre.org, 408-0499
Pinkalicious the Musical
Theatre Of Youth
Book by and based on the book by Elizabeth Kann & Victoria Kann
Music by John Gregor
Lyrics by John Gregor, Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann
Tickets: theatreofyouth.org, 884-4400