As if Disney didn’t have enough trouble from the attacks by Ron DeSantis, now the various princesses from its animated feature film corral are rebelling against the Mouse Factory for the sexist stereotypes given to them.
At least that is the premise of Disenchanted!, a sly satirical revue now receiving its South Florida premiere at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse, thanks to a winking, winning production by MNM Theatre Company.
First of all, movie buffs should be relieved to learn that this show is unrelated to last year’s same-named disappointing sequel to Enchanted, the delightful Amy Adams romp from 2007. Rather, it is a musical revue by Dennis T. Giacino (with development assistance from Fiely Matias) that first popped up at the 2011 Orlando Fringe Festival, then ran off-Broadway in 2014 and has since enjoyed productions around the globe.
After all, the Disney cartoons from which these princesses hail have been seen worldwide and their pre-feminism attitudes made them ideal targets for spoofing.
It should be noted that Disenchanted! takes the satire into the realm of raunch — including an unapologetic use of the “F” word — placing the show well outside of family fare. Adult theatergoers, on the other hand, should get a kick out of the show’s snarky shin-kicking.
Central to the comic send-up is a royal trio — Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Snow (Shelley Keelor) is both the show’s ringleader and taskmaster, Cindy (Ashley Rubin) is pure blonde ditz, and narcoleptic Sleepy (Aaron Bower) often naps right through her song cues.
The gist of their complaint is that they are painted as dependent on their various Prince Charmings, despite the fact that they need no such male support. And then there is Asian warrior Mulan (the scene-stealing Kat Gold), who confides that her lack of a male appendage is due to her sexual orientation.
Also targeted for parody are Pocahontas and Aladdin’s Jasmine (both embodied by Jinon Deeb) and tipsy little mermaid Ariel and strait-jacketed Belle of Beauty and the Beast (a spunky Leah Sessa). Finally — in a musical number called “Finally” — Vallery Valentine arrives at the end of the first act to add some color to the proceedings as Tiana, Disney’s first African-American royal from The Princess and the Frog.
Director-choreographer Jonathan Van Dyke gives the production its zip and musical director Bobby Peaco heads a three-member band, plunking out Giacino’s tunes, which parody the Disney musical library.
The score mainly consists of a series of solos, all well-sung by the seven-member female cast. But two group numbers are standouts — an attention-getting tribute to the princesses’ physical attributes (“Big Tits”) and to the starvation diet that yields their tiny waists (“All I Wanna Do Is Eat”).
Ultimately, Disenchanted is a celebration of female empowerment and self-esteem, which makes it a dandy girls’ night out entertainment. But Disney is the object of scorn, not the male gender, so guys should not hesitate to attend and partake of the fun too.
DISENCHANTED!, MNM Theatre Company at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Through Saturday, May 27. $55-$65. Call 561-832-7469 or visit www.kravis.org.