Located at 45 Bleecker Street in New York City is the Bleecker Street Theatre. This small, 240-seat theater, is home for the next couple of months to a musical production aimed squarely at pre-teen girls, Pinkalicious, The Musical.
Pinkalicious is based on the children's story of the same name by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, who also did the book and lyrics — alongside John Gregor who did the music and orchestrations — for this production. The story follows young Pinkalicious as she extols the virtues of the color pink. She even goes so far as to add extra pink to her mother's cupcakes, a move she regrets when, after eating too many cupcakes, she wakes up to find herself pink from head to toe.
Sadly, Pinkalicious, we learn, has a horrible case of Pinkititis, the only cure for which is a large helping of green food. It's a cute enough story about having too much of a good thing and eating one's vegetables, a move Pinkalicious resists initially.
It is not a terribly deep storyline and one won't find huge emotional arcs in it, though there are certainly some present. Mrs. Pinkerton is harried and overworked initially, Mr. Pinkerton has issues with pink in general, and little Peter – Pinkalicious' brother – is all too often ignored. It's not a lot for the cast to do, but they do sing and dance and appear to have a great time at it.
Most of the songs are peppy and upbeat, whether it's Doctor Wink diagnosing the case of Pinkititis or the bees and birds attacking Pinkalicious because they think she's a pink peony. Things do slow down a little at times, but only momentarily and never long enough to give the young audience time to lose their enthusiasm – an enthusiasm that is promoted by the cast as they do the standard querying of the audience as to where a character has gone or what they should do next.
The production contains minimal sets, all of which are changed by the actors as the scenes progress from one to the next, something which did not seem to distract from any of the enjoyment the youngsters in the crowd experienced. The music that accompanies the singing appears to be from a pre-recorded track which does contain some static at times. It is a problem which, again, does not detract from the enjoyment of those for whom the musical is geared nor for those who are there to enjoy their little ones' enjoyment.
The musical clocks in at just under an hour, a perfect length for introducing young children to the wonder of the theater and seeing a show performed live. The people of the Vital Theatre Company, the group whose production this is, are all good-natured, cheery, and bright. The show features five cast members in every performance – with a group of 10 actors and actresses comprising the complete production (there are two people for every role) – who all exit the theatre before the audience so that they can be ready to sign autographs and take pictures with the young theatre-goers (the back cover of the playbill is even designed to accommodate the autographs).
It should be noted that the actress who portrays Dr. Wink also portrays Pinkalicious' best friend, Allison. This is something that may not be apparent when one is watching the show, but certainly is when she signs "Dr. Wink/Allison" on the playbill. Though presumably most parents have discussed the difference between real and pretend with their children before attending the musical, those who haven't may find themselves having an uncomfortable discussion if they choose to wait in the short line for pictures and autographs.
Pinkalicious, The Musical may be imperfect, but it unquestionably completely and totally delights the audience it is aimed at. The Bleecker Street Theatre is a small, intimate venue; the characters bright and friendly; and the story is delightfully wacky, more than a little improbable, and wholly enjoyable. With a short runtime and pink cupcakes for sale alongside fairy wands (just like Pinkalicious' fairy wand!) and books which many of the young theatregoers already own (plus t-shirts they probably don't), the show is a fantastic way to give children that first taste of a live show.
The show is currently running at the Bleecker Street Theatre through January 3rd, with performances at 1PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, a new production of the musical has just opened at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.