Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Bella: An American Tall Tale
In Kristen Child's new musical - whatever you see is real... or is it just a dream... what exactly is Bella in trouble for? What did she do and who wants her back? Is Aloysius real? Can she really fly? One thing is for sure - her booty is big and gives her the powers she needs to overcome just about any adversity.
The music and songs (all Ms. Childs) are delightful - a traditional old Broadway style - toe tappin' and fun. The dancing is strong despite the tiny stage - which was a delightful stage within a stage due to the nature of the reality vs fantasy aspect of the plot. Bella has the vocal cords of a giant and a personality to match - I really could picture Jennifer Hudson in the role. One thing for sure, Ms. Childs infuses the fun and frivolity with serious undertones of race and freedom and gender equality - so that even a lay set in the late 1870's crackles with fresh perspectives.
Playwrights was right to end their season with this gem. A common theme with plays fresh off the playwright's desk - this one is not different - too long and tries to say too much. A few scenes cut and a few plot-lines deleted and we have a really fresh smash on our hands in just under 2 hours. Head over to Playwrights Horizons for a summertime romp!