There are “fractured fairy tales” and then there is SPOOLIE GIRL – a new split personality musical by Robert W. Atwood (book) and Rosemary Loar (co-book, music, lyrics and vocal arrangements) that simply misfires, not measuring up to its aspirations at the June Havoc Theatre – Abington Theatre Arts Complex.
Part of the problem with SPOOLIE GIRL is that it doesn’t know who its audience is. Is it for kids? For precocious adults? Or for friends and family? Most of the time as directed by Karen Carpenter it seems like an elementary school recital. And clocking in at two hours and two acts it really wears out its welcome early on.
It begins with “Once upon a time…” and ends with “Happily ever after.” In between we get a lot of lame “fairy” jokes and soft rock songs that go in one ear and out the other. With the exception of “Bitch Being Beautiful” which is a duet sung by the Fairy Rock Mother (Rosemary Loar) and Catherine Porter (Darla) who is the aunt of our heroine Spoolie Girl (Jennafer Newberry) a teenage orphan from Kenya who has arrived suddenly in her fashionable New York apartment.
Darla is an absentee aunt more focused on her salon, shoes, shopping and fashion assignments than her niece – who is desperately looking for a real home and in need of a make-over. Off she is sent to Manuel (German Rodriguez) who has these magic “spoolies” to set her hair in. Now my mind had wandered off somewhere here so I’m not sure how they immediately give the young girl the ability to hear other people’s thoughts – in song, but they do and she does.
Narrating this tale is Delta Pink (Lennie Watts) Head Fairy who wants those spoolies back. The Fairy Rock Mother is the chosen one for the job as it was her mistake that they wound up on our heroine’s head. If she succeeds her green wings will be exchanged for pink. Most of the evening is spent with her not being able to do this. Really exciting stuff.
Rev Roger “Yolanda” Mapes is Eddie – a guy with an invisible dog. Raissa Katona Bennett plays multiple roles and Conor Mc Intyre is the sobbing son of Fairy Rock Mother. He becomes a rock star named Frank Frank.
If you want to learn how not to write a musical then by all means visit SPOOLIE GIRL. Its messages of “finding the beauty in every living thing” and that “beauty is only skin deep” and “home is where the heart is” are fine but you need a well written story and songs to get them across.
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