Entertainment :: Music

Fancy Nancy - The Musical

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Thursday May 2, 2013
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One of the most popular children’s franchises today is the "Fancy Nancy" brand. Originally based on the illustrated book written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, the stories of the little girl with the "fancy" tastes and words have expanded to fifty different adventures (including a chapter book) that have sold more than 20 million units. In 2012, a stage musical version began a U.S. tour, and now a soundtrack is available on Ghostlight Records.

With music and lyrics by Danny Abosch ("Placebo," "Unwritten Rules") and book and lyrics by Kleban Award winner Susan DiLallo ("Once Upon a Time in New Jersey," "Barbie Live! In Fairytopia"), "Fancy Nancy: The Musical" tells the story of Nancy and her friends: Bree, Wanda, Rhonda and Lionel, as they prepare to perform in their very first show, "Deep Sea Dances." When the confident Nancy is cast in the role of a tree instead of the mermaid character that she expected, the story teaches the importance of compromise and acceptance in a group situation, accompanied by nine songs ideal for sing-a-long with the youngest members of any household.

The performers on this recording amply display the energy necessary to convey the songs on this recording. The cast is led by Alyson Bloom as Fancy Nancy and Darilyn Castillo as Bree, and includes the tunes, "Anyone Can Be Fancy," "You’ll Always Be My Star" and the "Shark Rap." Additionally, a film based on the franchise is in negotiation with Tina Fey slated to produce.

The songs are catchy (for the lower elementary demo), but the orchestrations are clearly tracked, giving the instrumental selections (especially the "Overture" and "The Deep Sea Dances Ballet") an artificial quality. Otherwise, this is an appealing story for the smallest listeners in your family.

"Fancy Nancy: The Musical"
Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
CD and digital formats
Ghostlight Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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