"PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL," through Dec. 30, Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City (801-363-7522); running time: 1 hour
Editor's note: This is part of an ongoing Deseret News series highlighting Utah's community theater programs.
SALT LAKE CITY — There are many phrases I could use to describe Salt Lake Acting Company’s production of "Pinkalicious The Musical": wonderfully silly, laugh-out-loud funny and every kid’s dream (pink cupcakes? Yes please!), but perhaps a phrase from the play itself sums it up best: pinkarific.
Based on the beloved children’s book series by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, "Pinkalicious" was adapted into a musical in 2007 with music by John Gregor. The show follows the story of Pinkalicious Pinkerton who loves all things pink, but she especially loves pink cupcakes. After ignoring warnings from her parents to stop eating cupcakes, Pinkalicious is diagnosed with “pinkititus,” which has turned her whole body pink. With the help of her younger brother, Peter, Pinkalicious has to find a way to reverse her condition so she doesn’t remain pink forever.
The energy and excitement swirling through the cozy theater at Salt Lake Acting Company was tangible. There were pink frosted sugar cookies for sale, little girls dancing in pink tutus, kids bouncing across the stage and nonstop giggles. But that was just the beginning — when the lights dimmed, two narrators came on stage to introduce the play and trained the kiddos how to clap during certain songs and had everyone yell "Pinaklicious" on the count of three to commence the play.
Fiona Hannan (Pinkalicious) was a delight and convinced everyone in the audience she was a little girl (not a young adult) with her high-pitched giggles, animated expressions, undying love for treats ("But … cupcakes" was a favorite line) and whiny distaste for greens in “The Power of Antioxidants.” With a continuous pep in her step, Hannan kept the kids engaged as she asked them if she should eat just one more cupcake, with little voices shouting "No!" But her breakout performance was during her duet with Seth Foster (Pinkalicious’ younger brother, Peter) in “Green Food” where her voice shined and her timely grunts showcased her vocal chops.
Foster was a star in his own right, playing the slightly ignored but loving Peter. His standout moment came in “I Got the Pink Blues” where he laments that he, too, loves pink, but his dad thinks he shouldn’t. Foster’s ballad was powerful and whiny in all the right places — the guy can sing. His loyalty toward Pinkalicious was an example of what all good brothers should be.
Pinkalicious’ parents, played by Alexis Baigue and Shannon Musgrave, were workaholics who never missed an opportunity to make a plug for the benefits of organic greens. Parents would appreciate their mealtime jingle "You Get What You Get" ("and don’t throw a fit," they sing).
Baigue was convincing as a strict but loving father who ultimately wanted the best for his kids, which was showcased in the finale where his voice was big and commanding, yet kind. He brought comedy to his role despite being an uptight father. Musgrave portrayed a working, stressed out mother who was beside herself when Pinkalicious was diagnosed with pinkititus. Her acting was versatile as she went from a strict mother to a compassionate wife and friend. She brought a sensitivity to her role that was executed beautifully. Both actors outdid themselves when they portrayed a silly bee and butterfly in "Buzz Off."
One of the standout roles, however, was Micki Martinez, who played both Pinkalicious’ best friend, Alison, and Dr. Wink. While convincing as a sensitive, caring friend to Pinkalicious, Martinez’s shining moment came as Dr. Wink diagnosed Pinkalicious with her condition in the song “Pinkititus.” Not only was her voice top notch and powerful, but she brought an attitude and sass to the stage that stood out from the rest. (Her dance moves were great, too.) She committed to both roles and played them effortlessly.
The costumes and props can’t be left without a mention. Pinkalicious’ costume was perfect with a blindingly sparkly top, a tulle tutu and butterfly wings. The large fake pink cupcakes looked as appetizing as ever — and even the leafy greens and bowls of Brussels sprouts were glittering green and looked (almost) good enough to eat.
Bubbles fell from the ceiling as Mr. and Mrs. Pinkerton tried to scrub Pinkalicious’ skin clean of pink. Even pink confetti flew during the song “Cupcake Dream” where the cupcakes came to life. That was where the magic of this production lied — in the way the actors interacted with the audience to ensure the children’s voices were heard. This is a play all about love and accepting people for who they are, and Salt Lake Acting Company succeeded in making sure the audience felt loved. Kids will have a magical experience with this witty and heartwarming musical delight.