Music and Lyrics by Lena Gabrielle
Lyrics by Greg Kerestan
Book by Anthony Marino
Directed and Co-Choreographed by Rachel Klein
Co-Choreographed by Danielle Marie Fusco
THE VERDICT: “Tink!” smacks of a sort of travel tour–”See Neverland and its Peoples!” All the tribes and fairies and pirates and so on (plus a few new additions for good measure) are on display, given a song or two, and staged for us and a young Tinkerbell to marvel at, while Tink herself finds her place among it all.
The whole deal is lovely family fare–if you choose not to turn up your nose at the word “family musical,” you’ll find “Tink!” is quite funny in parts, and performed by a committed ensemble, and actually has a firm perspective and sense of morality hiding under the hood. (A quote from a excited 9 year old I heard walking out of the theater–”Wow, I never knew about Tinkerbell’s story!”)
The only really odd bit, in my book, is that we don’t get to know Tink as well as anyone else. No fault of the actress; the musical just seems more interested in everyone else. Even when Tink gets her own songs, they feel less vivid than others. But the sense of family-friendly adventure and whimsy is palpable, and as a fun all-ages romp, you can’t ask for too much more.
Here’s your point-by-point on what stood out:
- Danielle Marie Fusco and Rachel Klein’s choreography maintains whimsy without settling for filler family fare, and often feels more dynamic than the mostly-bare stage should allow. (A few treasure trunks and some hanging ivy on the back wall are about as much setting as you get.)
- Lena Gabrielle and Greg Kerestan’s Lyrics are nimble and thoughtfully woven.
- The only place that things start to feel overly childish are in the book scenes–there’s just a hint of preciousness that isn’t as acutely felt anywhere else in the production.
- Gosh, what a hard working ensemble. Not only do many of them wear more than a couple one-song-featured-actor hats, but I can only imagge the crowded quick changes backstage. Considering the mythos of Neverland prides itself on how many different sorts of people are there, you can imagine the costume rack. (By the way, Tracey Angelo and Lynn Rusnica’s costumes are vibrant and fun, although sometimes veer into a sort of a plastic-y toyland look, for better or worse.)
WHAT IT’LL GET NOMINATED FOR:
- OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY.
- OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE.
- OUTSTANDING LYRICS.
WHERE IT’LL GO:
I don’t really think that “Tink!” needs much more elbow grease to become a successful family-friendly musical. I think regional theaters should take a look, and they probably will as a result of NYMF. But for what it’s worth, there is one thing that I think could make “Tink!” a little more magical.
As mentioned above, one thing I appreciated was that there was a sense of morality and thoughtfulness hidden underneath the whimsy–these moments are great lessons for kids about individuality, duty, calling out what’s wrong and standing up for what’s right.
But–this is a little intellectual, so bear with me here–I can’t help but feel that Tinkerbell never really gets to be the agent of change and morality. Songs are often big declarations or investigations for subsets of people in Neverland, or people singing about Tinkerbell, or Tinkerbell singing with someone else who’s trying to convince her of something. In a nutshell, we see Tinkerbell react and watch more than decide or take action. This isn’t true across the board, but I was struck by how much of the show is about people who aren’t her. (Y’know, despite the name of the show.) I wonder what it’d be like if she got to drive events a bit more, or if she did the saving instead of others saving her.
For more information, visit: http://www.nymf.org/festival/2016-events/tink