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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 1, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 13
Great performances make The King's Proposal an enjoyable evening
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Great performances make The King's Proposal an enjoyable evening

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

The King's Proposal or The Marriage of Princess Guido
Seattle Musical Theatre
Through April 10


A cute new musical is being presented as part of Seattle Musical Theatre's 'Second Season,' a kind of incubator for new musicals in its maiden start. The King's Proposal or The Marriage of Princess Guido is funny and would definitely appeal to those who like sketch comedy. The two writers, Michael Govier and Curtis Williams, do a lot of comedy in the sketch realm in Chicago, so they are pretty good at being funny.

The main clown in this circus is Brennan Buhl, a friend from Chicago who was instrumental as their star through the developmental process they went through in Chicago. He has that kind of quirky lovability that we like about characters like Get Smart's Maxwell Smart and Gilligan. It's hard to imagine any other actor playing Guido besides Buhl. His little gestures, winks at the audience, and offhand delivery are a lot of fun.

The story has an evil king (Jacob Hutchison) who wants to marry his daughter (Aryn Nemiroff) to a prince she doesn't love. The king loves executions and kills people when he gets bored - cue the audience boos.

The prince (Nicholas Brownson) wants to marry Roger (Bo Mellinger). This subplot relieves the story from being entirely stereotypical, and gives it a little updating. Of course, his mother the queen (Faith Eadson) doesn't think princes should marry men.

The princess is in love with an actor, Daniel (Jonathan Wright), who gets banished by the king. The princess then puts on glasses (because no one will recognize her with glasses) and goes to find Daniel. King Edgar insists the wedding go on, and so faithful servant Guido must put on the princess' dress (because everyone will think he is her with that dress on) and stand in for her at the wedding. Or he will get executed, of course.

The lyrics and the book (the script) have some clever touches and a fair amount of jokes. The first song, 'Prologue Slash Backstory,' is a very fun way to begin and sets the tone well. A play on a ballad, 'I Am Lost, Not Physically But Emotionally Lost,' is a cute twist. The compositions, musically, are not very singable. The concepts are good, but it's not musically interesting, which is disappointing. In fact, at times it was hard to know if the singers were singing on tune or not, due to musical dissonance.

Williams did well as the music director of his small band of three players. A cut out court set that twists into a forest is nicely designed by Jenna Carino. Choreography by Kate Kingery is fun and appropriate without being too much.

Another standout performer was the strange character of Bruce, played by Jessica Hendrickson. Bruce inexplicably dies, but because he is cared for so much, perhaps, he becomes a puppet instead of being buried. Hendrickson then has to keep a deadpan face as she is made to 'talk' and walk and continue to act as if Bruce has never died. She moves beautifully and did a great job in this silly role.

It's an enjoyable evening where you might be taken out of thinking about any of life's stresses. That can be very good thing, some days. For more information, go to www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org or call 206-363-2809.

Discuss your opinions at sgncritic@gmail.com.

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