In dark and difficult times, sometimes a little levity is necessary for your sanity. Though I was not seeking any, I was invited to a dress rehearsal for a show that was about to premiere. I’ll admit I knew nothing about the show, but I heard ‘Disney songs’ and my interest was piqued. I took my soldier son as my date, and we set off to Jerusalem and allowed ourselves to be entertained.
Called ‘Second Star to the Left’ – a great title, despite the lack of any other Peter Pan reference – the tagline is, ‘Come experience the magic of all your favorite songs from animated movies and meet some of your favorite characters in the family-friendly musical.’
Hardly Broadway, the intimate theater in the AACI offices in Jerusalem was nearly ready for opening night, but ready enough for me and my son to enjoy.
The show began with a chorus of ‘A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes’ (from Cinderella of course…) and I felt my eyes begin to well up. It was a very nice rendition, but it wasn’t so much the singing as it was an emotional combustion that released the tears… I think I needed to be there to get a little release. Of course, there was also the serenading effect since it was just myself and my son in the audience.
The story surrounds Katie (played by the talented Rachel Frazin), a 16-year-old full of attitude who is less than pleased about her mother’s forthcoming remarriage. Her sullen disposition opens up the dormant magic in the mirror on the wall. Claire Greenfield, the actress who plays the magic mirror, is one of the show-stealers with her theatrical portrayal of this famous piece of furniture.
Katie finds herself in a fantasy world of Disney characters come-to-life and learns some true-life lessons from the less-than-true-life characters she meets. She finds out that the grass isn’t always greener under the sea, or anywhere else for that matter.
My son and I sat enjoying, not noticing the time passing, as the scenes changed, all along trying to guess which characters were going to show up along with each collection of whimsical props (and guessing right more often than not… We watch a lot of Disney movies.)
A few wig mishaps added to the entertainment, but presumably will not happen in the actual performances (unfortunately for you, since they gave us quite the chuckle!)
The plot has more than a few echoes of The Little Mermaid, though it is entirely original, written by Amanda Keehn and Raphael Poch.
To further give credit where it is due, it was directed by Netanya Mischel, music by Geula Atlas, choreographed by Miri Fraenkel (who starred in Aida) and produced by Aryeh Kaufman.
If you’re a kid, or a kid at heart, and you enjoy Disney songs (seriously? who doesn’t?) you will enjoy this performance, a program that will appeal to the whole family.
[For information about the show go to their site here]