Fairy tale characters meet reality TV in Steve Fife’s Charming The Musical at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. King Darling (Robert Bright) informs his son Prince Charming (Erik Dugan) he can’t go dragon slaying with his best dude Prince Guy (Leroy Mobley) because the kingdom is broke and Charming needs to earn some money. Up pops wicked witch Morgana (Yanna Fabian), producer of the reality dating show The Royal Rose. She has gathered Cinderella (Jolie Adamson), Snow White (Sarah El-Alami), Rapunzel (Kaitlyn Fae Fajilan), Tiana (Amber France) and Sleeping Beauty (Elyse Hamilton) as contestants. Charming had rescued all these princesses and damsels in the past but left them at the altar and mostly just forgot about them. Morgana has sworn them to reject Charming and his rose on national TV. This synopsis actually sounds better than Fife’s script fleshes it out. Little Red (Julie Rothman) and Prince Hamlet (Ross Neuenfeldt) also show up for no plausible reasons. The plot plods along for 90 interminable minutes under Fife’s uninspired and seemingly hands off direction. At times the cast just seems to wander the stage aimlessly. There are over 20 songs or snippets thereof with Fife’s lyrics set to Sean Schafer Hennessy’s music which mostly sounds the same. The jokes fall flatter than some of the singing voices. There are hints of talent in the voices of Fajilan, France and Mobley but they are wasted on this material.
Other Space at the Actors Company, 916A Formosa Ave. in West Hollywood. June 12, 18. 25 & 26. http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3597