This play was a Mommy/Daughter date with my 10 year old which almost didn’t happen. After much discussion that we should “Do this together,” “You will enjoy it,” “You need to be exposed to some culture,” and “I took your older sister when she was five and she enjoyed it,” I finally convinced my daughter Rachel to attend the opening night of, A Little Princess, a world premiere musical currently on stage at Sacramento Theatre Company.
Rachel had read the book, knew Sara Crewe’s father dies, and didn’t want to re-experience that tragedy, but, by the opening line of the play, she was hooked. It was funny and I heard her giggle as Ram Das introduces the story. When intermission came, Rachel told me with a big smile, “Mommy, I’m glad you made me come.”
The humor in the musical is at a level that will make you laugh whether you are a little girl or her date for the evening. It was well-spaced and kept Rachel’s attention for the entire play.
Alyssa Middleton was delightful as Sara Crewe, with a wonderful voice, but the two standouts for the evening were Devon Hayakawa as Ermengarde St. John and Michael De Souza as Ram Das. We looked forward to seeing them on stage and they both never failed to make us laugh or smile.
I have never read the book, but love the Shirley Temple movie version. Don’t go to expect the same story; the musical sticks closer to the book version. And, because of that, we learn that although someone is gone, it is their memory and teachings that carry us through life. As Sara’s neighbor, Tom Carrisford, says, “I don’t have the umbrella anymore, but I still have the gift,” reminding us that relationships are more important than worldly things.
By Vickie Westrup, a guest writer for Sacramento365.com.