Vital Theatre has done it again. Fancy Nancy the Musical is another wonderful musical for children, lifted from a well-loved story book, that maintains the spirit of the books while creating a completely satisfying experience for audiences young and old.
That’s fancy for: the Fancy Nancy Musical totally rocks.
We were thrilled to be in the press preview audience of Fancy Nancy the Musical (thank you Vital Theatre) along with Jane O’Connor, the author of the wildly successful Fancy Nancy books. The show is quite simply, splendiforous. That’s fancy for…well you get it.
The show, based on Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, follows Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda and Lionel as they prepare for their very first ballet show, “Deep Sea Dances.” Nancy is 100% certain she and Bree will be cast as exotic and beautiful mermaids. But when another child get’s the coveted part, and she is cast as a plain old tree, Nancy faces the dilemma of how to bring her signature pizazz to a role that she finds less than inspiring.
Every production I’ve seen at Vital Theatre offers a great message for kids, and Fancy Nancy is no exception. Aside from continuing the exemplary exposure to delicious and very fancy vocabulary words that is so beloved in the book series, the musical explores creativity and self-expression. Nancy finds ways to make her room, her clothing and even a backyard tea party fancy, using the things she finds around her house. She doesn’t spend oodles of money or go to the store for supplies. With a little creativity and fun, Nancy can make even the mundane tree, fabulous. And so can your kid. And a positive attitude and ingenious spirit can turn even disappointments into something exciting. And that’s a pretty great message to go home with.
I also love that the show introduces Rhonda and Wanda, two tomboys who love sports, but still get on board with Nancy’s fancy lifestyle. They express their creativity in their own way. As does the only boy in the show, the adorably dopey Lionel whose Shark Rap at the end of the show will definitely tickle your funny bone.
The music is excellent, the lyrics are clever and the story will definitely hold your child’s interest for the hour or so of the show. And I maintain that Vital Theatre is one of the best proving ground for New York’s young musical theater performers. Amanda Savan, who plays Nancy’s mom, has a huge, beautiful voice. Her work is as good as you’ll see in musicals farther south on Broadway. You will be seeing these actors again, I guarantee it.
A dazzling afternoon at the theater with your fanciest kiddo and a storybook character we all know and love. That’s fancy for something babies definitely gotta have.
Fancy Nancy is playing at Vital Theatre
The McGinn Cazale Theater, 2162 Broadway at 76th Street – 4th Floor
Saturdays and Sundays from now through November 12th
Showtimes at 11am and 1 pm
Click here for tickets