By Thomas Brandon
What do you do when you’re trapped in the house on your first day of vacation and your crazy younger brother won’t leave you alone? Well, if you’re Priscilla from Catawba Club Productions’ new play Priscilla’s Perfect Day, you’re going to use some magic crayons to escape into a make believe world and find a way to escape from the legendary super-sized lobster that haunts it. And if you’re one of the kids in the audience during last Saturday’s performance, you probably enjoyed it.
The new family musical with book by Diana Martin and songs by Richard Levinson is an enjoyable romp with a creative family arriving for their annual vacation at grandmother’s house in Maine. The plot is fairly simple, and the play interests itself more with filling the world of the story with colorful neighbors, semi-talking dogs, and plenty of imaginative flights of fancy. It’s a giddy little adventure that will encourage children to be nicer to their siblings and not be so afraid of things that sound scary (but really aren’t).
Adults’ enjoyment of the piece will vary. Several aspects of the production (from the solid sets and design to the post-show pancake brunch) are delightful, and all the actors throw themselves earnestly into their respective roles. The songs are pleasant, if not catchy, and some of the direction onstage gets cloudy at times. The acting, however, is engaging enough to keep things moving along. And it never hurts to be surrounded by the laughter of children.
“Priscilla’s Perfect Day” runs every Saturday at 11 a.m. through July 17th at The Lonny Chapman Theatre (10900 Burbank Blvd, NoHo, CA 91601). Tickets are $12 with family and group rates available. Pancake Party/Activities after the show. Tickets can be purchased online at www.thegrouprep.com or at the door.