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review: freckleface strawberry

Last week, I attended a preview show of the new off-Broadway musical Freckleface Strawberry, based on the New York Times Best Selling children's book by actress Julianne Moore. I had never been to a show at the New World Stages, and was pretty impressed by the performance space on its own ($4 sangria for parents before the show, I'm just sayin').

While the musical is obviously geared towards children, I have to say I really enjoyed myself. In a nutshell, "Strawberry," played with gusto by Hayley Podschun, is covered in freckles and not at all happy about it. In fact, she's constantly teased (albeit affectionately) by her friends as a result. She longs to look like "Ballet Girl," seemingly perfect with fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes. In perhaps my favorite scene of the show, the group of friends sing about how, unbeknownst to each other, they'd all like to be like someone else. You know how it goes... the jock wants to be like the smart guy, the shy girl dreams about being Miss Popular, the cheerleader secretly hopes to be class treasurer.

The running theme of Freckleface Strawberry is a simple yet important one: being comfortable in your own skin (freckled or not). Loving yourself. Embracing what it is that makes you, uniquely... YOU. In the middle of a crowded theater, I found myself thinking of my own middle and high school experience, of the numerous "cool" kids that I wished at the time I could have been like (sufficed to say, I was not Ballet Girl or Miss Popular). Our "tween" and teenage years are so very important in forming who we become as adults, that it's a shame I wasted any length of time being envious of anyone, really. Who knew a show for kids would make me so reflective?

Freckleface delivers the message of being true to oneself in a fun and lighthearted fashion, one that I hope every child in the audience will bring home with them. On top of which, the songs are catchy, the actors are energetic and engaging and the stage design was bright and cheerful. I truly enjoyed myself and I think this would be a great activity for families with school-age children. Enjoy!

Performance schedule:
Beginning October 6
Wed at 2pm & 7pm; Thu & Fri at 7pm;
Sat at 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm; Sun at noon and 3pm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wish it was playing here in California! With a 14 and 12 year old I know how important every precious moment is for them and how I can't protect them from everything!

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