This morning, my daughter and I went to see one of her friends in “Disneys 101 Dalmations“, an adaptation by Marcy Heisler, with music and lyrics by Mel Leven, Randy Rogel, Richard Gibbs, Brian Smith, Martin Lee Fuller, and Dan Root. It was a production of the 49th Annual TeenAge Drama Workshop at CSUN. Going into such a production, the bar is pretty low: you know there are kids doing the show, and it is aimed at the kids in the audience, based on an animated movie that wasn’t known for its songs to begin with.
So what did a think? Pleasant. The show, for the skills of those involved, was quite good. There were a number of strong performers, especially Francesca Riso, Kelsey Cottrell, and Rachel Eisner, all of whom sang quite well. Although some of the large cast were unsure about themselves, others were quite confident, and the fun they were having came through. Of course, it goes without saying that all of the teen actors playing the dogs really knew how to shake their tails [pauses for groan].
I think, of this cast, there are some who have the capacity to succeed in this field. Kudos for CSUN and this program, which combined with their excellent theatre arts program, does a wonderful job of preparing children for the stage.