First off, the set was beautiful, very imaginative and so colorful! One side was a book store. When it spun around, the other side was a dance studio. The live band was tucked up behind the tall "buildings" on Stage Left. (We could just see a bit of the trombonist and trumpeter playing during the show.) The costumes were also very colorful and period appropriate. This show was set in New York during the early 1960's. The bouffant wigs were great, too.
My daughter and I went to see her friend perform as "Hans Christian Andersen" himself, 3rd grand nephew to the famous author Hans Christian Andersen. Alex King did a phenomenal job dancing and singing his heart out. The show had actors in a small ensemble cast that were equally enjoyable in their parts. And the seven children were delightful as the students taking dance in the dance studio.
This show's original script was written to showcase many of composer Frank Loesser's popular songs from the 1940s-1960s, plus some songs from the 1952 Danny Kaye movie about Hans Christian Anderson such as "I'm Hans Christian Andersen," "Thumbelina," "Wonderful Copenhagen," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "Inch Worm," and "The Ugly Duckling."
My personal favorite number was "The Emperor's New Clothes." The young girls carried large puppets who represented the members of the court of the Emperor. Using puppets was so clever!
It was such a family-friendly show! Happy and upbeat. The only tension in the show came from the situation of Hans inheriting a failing bookstore from his aunt, but not inheriting a legacy to run it or pay the bills. The plot revolves around Hans putting on a Christmas show to help drum up business for his store and pay the back rent. Several colorful characters also appear to help him.
This show is being premiered at the Hale Center Theater through July. Because we in Utah like family-friendly fare, I hope this show finds its audience and does very well, indeed.