Combining a classic children’s fairy tale with bouncy, toe-tapping show tunes, the Nine O’Clock Players’ entertaining, world-premiere production of The Emperor’s New Clothes features infectious performances to entrance audiences of all ages.
The Emperor (Judy Claverie) lusts after new fashions, and demands a flashy new suit for his birthday, stating he will richly reward the designer of the winning wardrobe. Two swindlers dream up a scheme to design an elaborate suit visible only to those who are trustworthy and wise. Will townspeople be truthful and honest, or play along to get ahead?
The production jazzes up the children’s standard with catchy songs and energetic dance numbers that offer a little something for everyone. Lyricist/composer Carol Weiss blends Gilbert and Sullivan tongue-in-cheek patter (“The High Life”), teasing tango (“Grover’s Story”), and classic Broadway anthem (“I’m Lucky”) in her witty, imaginative score. Musical Director Gerald Sternbach provides lively accompaniment with his up-tempo piano playing.
Director Todd Nielsen designs zesty stagings a la old style melodrama and cartoons that add postmodern humor. He draws excellent performances from his high-energy cast. Claverie steals the show as the flashy, expressive Emperor. Christina Doren blends Colin Farrell charm and graceful physicality as villain Oliver. Pam McGeary’s infectious Court Jester spins bad puns as vamping narrator.
Production work is first-rate, with colorful costumes, elaborate set, and evocative lighting.
The Nine O’Clock Players score another hit in their long line of quality children’s theater in their crowd-pleasing new production of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
The Nine O’Clock Players perform The Emperor’s New Clothes Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through March 23 at the Assistance League Theatre located at 11367 N. St. Andrews Pl. in Hollywood. Tickets cost $12. Group Sales and Birthday Parties are available. Call (323) 469-1970, or visit nineoclockplayers.com to purchase tickets.