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Review: Pretty in Pink, Life Lessons Included

The DePaul University Theatre School's spring play, "Pinkalicious," is a "pinkerific" musical for all ages.

It is about a spunky little girl who's passion for the color pink gets her into a vibrant dilemma. She learns to resist her impulses with the help of her friends and family, who also go on journeys of their own within the play.

Though "Pinkalicious" is based off of the best-selling children's book of the same namesake, it is not limited to kids. Audience members of all ages can enjoy the lighthearted humor and youthful energy it exudes.

Eight-year-old Pinkalicious Pinkerton turns pink from head to toe after eating too many pink cupcakes. At first she thinks that her new hue is the best thing that could have ever happened to her, but she quickly learns that overindulging has consequences.

Pinkalicious travels to Dr. Wink's office with her distraught parents and little brother, Peter, where she is diagnosed with "Pinkititis." She has to eat green food or else the condition will worsen. When she initially refuses to follow to doctor's orders, her unique illness reaches code red.

The anticipation of the performance has toddlers and pre-teens alike dancing in the aisles to the pre-show music. Classic pop songs like "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," "I Want Candy," and other songs that promote girl power are played throughout the theatre before the performance.

When Pinkalicious Pinkerton, played by third-year Theatre School student Kelly Sloan, finally graces the stage in her pink rain boots, she receives cheers and squeals from the audience.

"[Kids] are really fun critics because you can tell right away whether they like it or not… They'll either be really engaged or they won't be engaged at all," said Sloan.

The cast members successfully captivate the attention of the audience members. "Pinkalicious" has kids in the audience chattering with excitement in anticipation of the animated recreations of the familiar scenes from the book. They are also able to participate in the action by shouting out what should be done next.

The theatrical sets and costumes in "Pinkalicious" are as stimulating as the actors' performances. A giant pink cupcake house, which serves as the main backdrop of the play, literally sets the stage for a glitzy, energetic performance. The floor of the stage is decorated with butterflies and flowers—and of course a lot of pink.

"We have a rotating cupcake, we have running lights, we have confetti cannons, we have bubble machines. We really do go all out to present this," said said Gemma Clarke, who played Dr. Wink, Queen Broccoli and the bird.

Dancing desserts and singing vegetables swirl around the stage, as central characters of Pinkalicious' highly active imagination.

"I had a lot of freedom to be creative with the costumes since it's such a fun children's play. We wanted to make them as funky as possible so kids were excited about them," said "Pinkalicious" costume designer Greta White. "The inspiration [for the costumes] came from the idea that pink was a sense of rebellion. Pink was Pinkalicious' way of saying no to her parents."

However, there is a lot more to "Pinkalicious" than just frilly pink cupcakes.

The play teaches patience and moderation, among many other things. Pinkalicious learns "you get what you get and you don't get upset."

"[The messages of "Pinkalclious" are] appreciating what you have and not overindulging in what you want. And that sometimes you don't always get just what you want," said Clarke.

It also preaches that "pink is power" and anyone can like the color, even grown men, like Pinkalicous' dad, and little boys, for example, her 5-year-old brother, Peter.

The play follows the storyline and music of the popular Broadway performance. It's not a simple play solely about a bold little girl, for other little girls. Many family dynamics are also present, such as the overworked parent and the overshadowed little brother.

"Pinkalicious" is 58 minutes of fun for everyone. The production runs from March 29 to May 21 at the Merle Reskin Theatre on 60 E. Balbo Dr.

(Written April 2011 for The DePaulia)

Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 20:01