Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical
Music and lyrics Garry Kupper
Book by Garry Kupper and Rose Caiola
Based on a book by Julianne Moore
Directed by Wade Hair
Musical Direction by Angela Cotto
Starring Aja Grooms
Winter Park FL
What’s the toughest part of being a kid? All of it, I guess. Freckles curse little Freckleface Strawberry (Grooms) and her classmate make fun of her for a condition she can’t control. We know small children are the most vicious of all life forms, and when they sense weakness they go in for the kill, just on principle. Dorkey Jake (Eli Hamilton) may be kinder than many but he’s got to protect his own perimeter; similar arguments made around the cast. Little Miss Straw is visited by the Freckle Mafia in her dream sequences; here Matthew Cassel drops by with his sidekicks and lays down the laws of genetics, and a desperate Strawberry comes up with a great idea: she wears a ski mask and fools everyone but the audience.
It’s a kid’s story wrought large by a skilled cast and crew, and its one of the most fun shows I’ve seen this year. The Freckle Mafia scene sold me, and Grooms “I Can Be Anything” nailed my shoes to the ground. Hamilton’s Jake was fun, as was Christian Santiago who had to wear diapers on his tall frame. Angela Cotto’s choreography keeps getting better, and any deficiency in the script or motivation were wiped out by the sheer energy of the cast. Be aware there are two casts, I saw the adult one, the other is populated by actual children. This really is the sort of children’s entertainment that never plays dumb, and it’s the sort of story adults can get behind. It’s high energy exuberance with a positive message.