“All right, class – let’s settle down and work on our coloring!”
Welcome to the kindergarten class of Miss Tracy (Amy Martin Massey), home base for three little boys at school (and a little girl, but we’ll get to her later). And what is it that really matters when you are in kindergarten? Is it the car you drive? How big your house is?
What matters is CRAYONS. Specifically – how many crayons are sitting in the glorious yellow crayon box on your desk.
The students are four. There’s Ricky (Daniel Vito Siefring), a boisterous boy in blue who wants nothing more than to be Crayon King with forty-eight, that’s right forty EIGHT crayons – well, that and to earn the eternal love of his curent playground crush. Frankie (Robert Mintz) has a bright teal shirt reflects his warm heart and calm persona – he’s pretty happy right where he is. The least-popular (at least in terms of crayons) is green clad, glasses-wearing Jimmy (Jeffrey Higgins), the true artist of the bunch. And let’s not forget Kristen (ASarah Beth Pfeifer), in pink, her hair in fabulous ruby red bow ties, the quee… er, the Princess of the class. Just don’t judge how she colors!
In the course of a few days, and with the assistance of music originally sourced from the vast collection of Sir Arthur Sullivan (maybe you’ve heard of him as part of a little couple known as Gilbert and Sullivan) with a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek rewrite by Jeffrey Higgins, the kindergarteners learn that not everything is what it seems – and that “it should be who you are on the inside, not what you color with that counts”.
The Crayon King, or Learning To Share
by Jeffrey Higgins
at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church – Mountain
900 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Details and tickets
There is not a weak performance in the bunch – this cast shines and everyone has their own strong moments and wonderful characters. Mr. Higgins’ quiet pride in his coloring – made with only 8 colors – is delightful. And Mr. Siefring’s spot on performance has so many high points it is hard to pick just one, but it may just be “Puhleeease!”
One of the unsung heroes of many shows is the lighting designer – but Colin Dieck sets the perfect tone for the show with his bright white washes and subtle shifts.
The Crayon King, or Learning To Share will delight most audiences but it should be a special treat for Festivalgoers looking for some lighthearted musical fun to leaven their day. Fans of musical theatre and Gilbert and Sullivan will get a kick out of the humorous re-workings of songs they already loved. And kids of all ages should enjoy this lighthearted family-friendly piece that, in the end, asks a very important question: Does having a box of 48 crayons really make you the most creative kid in kindergarten?
Though it remains a mystery what will happen to the fabric of these kindergartener’s universe when someone walks in with a box of 96 crayons…