SALT LAKE CITY — I wouldn’t normally jump at the chance to see a production entitled Pinkalicious: the Musical, but as a parent of a Pinkalicious-loving kid, I had to take the opportunity for a mommy-and-me date. I was pleasantly surprised as we attended the Salt Lake Acting Company’s production of Pinkalicious: the Musical written by Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann, and John Gregor and directed by Penelope Caywood. I discovered a show that was professional, energetically engaging, and perfect for my young theatre date.
The show tells the story of Pinkalicious, a girl who loves the color pink, and her mishap adventure when she turns pink after eating too many pink cupcakes. When Pinkalicious turns pink, her parents take her to a doctor who diagnoses her with pinkititus. Pinkalicious must decide whether she is brave enough to follow the doctor’s orders to eat green food or whether she’ll keep eating too many pink cupcakes. More than that, Pinkalicious is a story about liking yourself as you are.
Caywood is a gifted director for theatre for young audiences. This show was very professional with excellent choreography—also by Caywood—fun props, great costumes, and a solid cast. I’ve attend theatre for young audiences that was overly cheesy and unpolished. Salt Lake Acting Company’s Pinkalicious was not one of those productions.
The entire cast for this production was united and fully engaged. Pinkalicious, played by Fiona Hannan, captured my attention as she came on singing about her favorite color. I particularly loved Fiona’s interactions with her brother Peter, played by Seth Foster. They definitely had that brother-and-sister chemistry as Peter went from tattling to joining in the mischief. I also loved the synchronization of the Pinkerton family as they rode their bicycle built for four. Although their bike consisted of only a front wheel and handle bars operated by Mr. Pinkerton, with the other family members each holding their own set of handle bars, I could see the entire bicycle in my mind’s eye as the family all climbed on and pushed off together.
The real standout performer for me was Alexis Baigue. He played multiple roles as Mr. Pinkerton and Bee, but his cameo appearances as a dancing cupcake or a vegetable were just as entertaining. He fully embraced each moment, even when singing while standing on his head, and each silly costume. I saw kids near the front of the stage and throughout the audience who were belly laughing in delight at his Bee performance, and I’ll admit I found myself joining in. Whenever he was not on stage, my child wanted to know where he was.
Choreography is usually simplified and basic in many productions for young audiences, but it was surprisingly varied and complex in this production. I especially enjoyed the use of tap in “Pinkititus.” Micki Martinez did an excellent job of making her tapping a seamless characteristic of Dr. Wink. “Pinkititus” was one of my favorite numbers in the production, although the “Power of Antioxidants” was a close second. The performers all did well singing, but what truly sold these two numbers was the choreography.
One thing that I loved with this production was that not everything was pink. The Pinkerton home (set design by Gage Williams) was comprised of a wide palette of colors and was a good mix of layers, levels, and openness. The costumes by Shannon McCullock were also colorful and fun. I very much enjoyed the Bee costume; the stinger really added humor that I could hear neighboring audience members delighting over. Pinkalicious wasn’t wearing pink in the opening scene, which felt a bit odd a first, but having read a plethora of the Pinkalicious books by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, I remembered she doesn’t always wear pink. It was a good choice to help contrast with the pinkititus case that completely turns Pinkalicious pink later in the show. I also loved the fun and over-sized props (design by Janice Jenson) that added color and sparkle to the stage. Peter’s enlarged binoculars and camera helped to make him more childlike, while the exaggerated green foods added to the sense of Pinkalicious being overwhelmed by said food. When things did need to appear more pink, Jesse Portillo‘s light design came to aid. The light design truly hooked my child’s attention as the lights moved and flashed with the music.
I walked away from this production with a fun experience shared with my child while having learned a few lessons myself. Peter helped bring to light that sometimes parents become focused more on one child, who might need more attention due to problems or just personality, and the easygoing child gets unintentionally put on the back burner. Another lesson learned from the Pinkertons is that parents shouldn’t become so busy that they forget to go and have fun with their kids. So, that being said, go and have fun with a child in your life by attending Salt Lake Acting Company’s production of Pinkalicious: The Musical.