Director Mark Bergren sums up Disenchanted! A New Musical Comedy That Gives Fairytales the Bird! succinctly: “The original fairytale princesses are honked off at what Disney has done to them. And now they’re fighting back.”
Why are the princesses so worked up? “For example,” he says, “they’re drawn by men, so they have little waists and big tits.” In other words, this raucous show is way more Brave New Workshop than Children’s Theatre Company. Which means it’s a great fit for Bergren, former director of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop and, perhaps just as important, former Disney World worker.
The show, he says, is a fast-paced musical with 18 songs. Over the course of the evening, Cinderella sings a number called “All I Wanna Do Is Eat” and develops a relationship with Mulan; and a character called The Princess Who Kissed the Frog wonders aloud why it took Disney more than 70 years to create an African-American princess.
Written and composed by Dennis T. Giacino, Disenchanted premiered at the 2011 Orlando Fringe Festival, where it was named Best of the Fringe. The show provides great roles for an ensemble of female performers, still a rarity in the contemporary theater. Illusion Theater’s production of it features a cast of well-known Twin Cities actors: Jen Burleigh-Bentz as the ringleader, Snow White; Bonni Allen as Cinderella; Joy Dolo as The Princess Who Kissed the Frog; Vanessa Gamble as Belle, Rapunzel, and The Little Mermaid; and Stephanie Bertumen as Mulan, Pocahontas, and Princess Jasmine. “It’s just a lot of fun,” Bergren says. Oct. 31-Nov. 23.
Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-4944, illusiontheater.org