THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

OUT OF THE LOOP FRINGE FESTIVAL 2011

Rachel Brown as Dani, Joshua Gonzales as Marty

Loop Review: Dani Girl

A funny and sweet musical about cancer? Believe it.



published Tuesday, March 8, 2011
1 comment


There are three musicals at this year's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. One is an adaptation of a comic book and uses '80s pop hits. Another involves a show-within-a-show about a killer shark. And there's one about a 9-year-old with leukemia.

Guess which one is the most fun?

Yep, it's the cancer one, Dani Girl. Especially if your definition of "fun" includes terrific songs, lovable characters, a concept that manages to be heartwarming but not maudlin, and an ending that will have you smiling through tears. It's truly one of those "you'll laugh, you'll cry" situations.

The musical, with music by Michael Kooman and book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond, comes to Loop from Greyman Theatre Company, created in 2010 by Baylor University students. That would make it one of three groups at this year's Loop that sprung from BU, along with Second Thought Theatre and Rite of Passage Theatre Company.

Dani (Rachel Brown) is the girl with cancer, and the story takes place in the hospital room she shares with another young cancer patient, Marty (Joshua Gonzales). Both know their diagnosis is grim, but they have their vivid imaginations to help them overcome that. Dani has a crafty guardian angel, Raph (Matt Tolbert, who plays other roles). She eventually introduces Marty to him, and they're singing songs about imaginary worlds, hair loss and death while on a quest to figure out "why cancer is."

Dani's Mother (Emily Christine Smith) checks in, and has one of the show's more heartbreaking songs, near the end.

The audience knows that these kids will succumb to the illness, and the show's creators count on that. Dani Girl does what musicals can do better than almost any other art form: Provide joy and laughter in the face of an unhappy ending.

It helps that this cast, under the direction of Kelsey Ervi, gets it all right. Brown captures the notion of this girl who's determined to dream her way out of the unfair hand life has dealt her. Gonzales is equally brave and youthful, and Tolbert gives us several characters that we grow to love, if not instantly. And they all, along with Smith, sing the songs beautifully.

Many of the tunes are melodic and hummable, something missing in too many new musicals. A few of them, such as "Requiem for a Bear" (about Dani's stuffed bear, Mr. Fritz), and a number toward the end in which Dani and Marty ponder getting it all over with by overdosing on Flintstones vitamins ("Side by Sui-cide") are haunting.

If that sounds depressing, trust, it's not. Dani Girl is good for the soul.

◊ Click the calendar link above to see future performances for Dani Girl, which plays in the Addison Theatre Centre's Main Stage. View a full Out of the Loop Fringe Festival schedule here.

Here's a trailer for the Greyman production at Loop:

 

 Thanks For Reading




Comments:

Mark Ervi writes:
Tuesday, March 8 at 9:01PM

I was at the March 6, show. Loved it. The characters are fun. The story is real. Emily Christine Smith has a glorious voice. Kelsey E. must be proud.


Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Loop Review: Dani Girl
A funny and sweet musical about cancer? Believe it.
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice Bonnie & Clyde Amphibian Teotle Dallas Opera Dallas Opera The Brothers Size Festival of Death Dallas Black Dance theatre Directors Choice The Two Character Play Irving arts Center Shear Madness Eisemann Center Bonnie & Clyde Bedroom Farce Nice
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit