From Page to Stage
For fans of the books, the script has been culled largely from Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, so piscatorial references float, wriggle, and synchronized swim cheerfully throughout the show’s second number, “I Wonder What I’ll Be”:
“…What’s the part for me?
I can’t wait to see!
A mackerel doin’ the Macarena…
A zebra mussel who does the Hustle …
So many dances
So many wishes
So many choices
So many fishes
And soon we’re goon see…”
Throwing themselves into the catchy number, four of the show’s six actors—Jes Dugger (Rhonda), Tricia Giordano (Wanda), Kyle Motsinger (Lionel), and Darilyn Castillo (Bree)—shimmy from shark to jellyfish to sea horse as they dance the Conga, Samba, and Charleston in rat-a-tat succession. Meanwhile, Vivierto is downstage shouting, “One, two, hup…one, two, hup…one, two, three…one, two, three…fishes center…right…left…right!”
And even though two key cast members—Alyson “Aly” Bloom, who plays the title character and Amanda Savan, who plays her Mom (the only official grown-up character in the show)—weren’t present during my “sneak peek,” it was a cinch to imagine just how much fun the end result would be. A hit and half, if you will, with lavish (a fancy word for “fancy”) sets, costumes, laughter and camaraderie (a fancy word for “friendship”) that encourages young theatregoers to take part. In fact, at the end, the audience is invited to take part in a tres fabuleux (that’s fancy French for “very fabulous”) parade around the theater!
Parting note: Even though on the surface Fancy Nancy may seem all “girly-girly,” it’s not. The show boasts several moments custom-made for the guys, particularly Lionel’s show-stopping solo number “The Shark Rap.”
What: Fancy Nancy The Musical
Where: Vital Theatre Company, 2162 Broadway at 76th Street
When: Sept. 30 - Nov. 12: Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 1pm; special school holiday performances take place Oct. 8 and 17 and Nov. 6 and 12, 11am and 1pm.
Recommended Ages: 2-10 (although older kids won’t be bored); and parents, there’s a lot to amuse adults in this clever musical—really…my personal guarantee!
About Vital Theatre Company
“Vital Theatre Company is a community of artists who believe that a shared theatrical experience profoundly effects people’s lives. We create stories that challenge our audience to ask questions, make discoveries, and engage in dialogue. If one adult is inspired, if one child’s imagination is awakened, if one student is empowered, our theatre is important and vital.”
Vital has an in-depth development process: A creative team is commissioned to write the show and the entire Vital staff is active in its overall development, from the very beginning of the “pink carpet” opening.
High school student interns from partner schools Fordham High School for the Arts and Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School are also involved in the productions, putting in time both backstage and at the front of the house.
In Vital Theatre Company’s Junior Performance Camps, participants learn and rehearse during the week-long camp, capped by a performance for family and friends at the end. The winter 2013 camp will include songs and scenes from various Vital productions including, for the first time, Fancy Nancy.