Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

What Has Become of Fairy Tale Princesses?

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

What Has Become of Fairy Tale Princesses?

Article excerpt

Dennis Giacino is thankful for the "princess complex," a condition in which women believe they are entitled to wealth, happiness and boyfriends or husbands who will do anything they tell them.

We probably all know at least one person who has that kind of attitude, who gets grumpy or worse if things don't go her way (have you seen an episode of any edition of "Real Housewives"?).

It's that world and point of view that provides a backdrop for the satirical musical "Disenchanted: Bitches of the Kingdom," a comical look at familiar fairy tale princesses who got the guy and the magical life, but now realize that "happily ever after" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

The musical, which Giacino wrote with Fiely Matias, returns this week to the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, where it had a successful but brief run last fall.

"We wanted to try it out but we couldn't keep it going as long as we wanted," said director Kyle Ennis Turoff, who is staging the show again for a month-long return visit that begins Tuesday.

The musical features some of the most popular princesses: Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Belle (from "Beauty and the Beast"), Ariel of "The Little Mermaid" and several others who may be more familiar from the Disney versions of their characters -- Mulan, Pocahantas and the Frog Princess.

Our memories of the Disney animated films play an important part in how audiences react to the characters and respond to Giacino's take on them. They are, after all, how most of us grew up knowing about them.

And these women are pretty unhappy with how they've been treated in films and merchandising. Cinderella wants to eat; Snow White's prince is a little less than exciting; Belle has to clean up after her beastly husband; and the Germanic Rapunzel complains about the fact that she gets nothing from all the plush dolls, books and other items sold with her likeness.

Most of the cast of the fall production return, including Mari Bryan as Cinderella, Jennifer Baker as Snow White, Alex Torres as Sleeping Beauty, Helen Holliday as Rapunzel and Roberta MacDonald as the hilariously jaded Secondary Princess, who just wants some attention and will go to unexpected lengths to get it. …

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