Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Let Zanna, Heartsville’s very own Cupid guide you through a story of ignorance, discrimination, inequalities, a touch of magic and love.
This is a high-energy musical story about the power of love and the angst of being a teen-ager. It is presented by the MGA Academy and is written by Tim Acito, an American writer. The cast has mastered its American accent perfectly and has created an vibrant, fast-moving musical that touches the heart even as it amuses us and tickles our funny bones.
The MGA Academy is an independent performing arts academy that offers a 3 year diploma in acting, musical theatre and dance. The quality of their training is obvious in this exciting production with its colorful costumes, well-choreographed dance and excellent professional presentation. There is satirical humor too in both the text and the lovely drag queen who gives the audience signs to set each scene.
The theme is a high school where the world as we know it has been turned upside down. The popular kids in school are the geeks. The coolest kids are the drama students and the chess champion is the school heartthrob. The drink of choice is hot milk and the question everyone ponders is “Should straight people be allowed to serve in the military.” The football hero is the outcast and the tragedy of the drama is when he falls in love with a girl who thought she was a lesbian.
All this sounds like superficial fantasy but there is a depth to the plot that is inescapable. We see and hear high school children who are trying to come to terms with who they are and accept their own individuality in a society that rewards and encourages conformity.
There is a hidden message here about labeling ourselves before we really know who we are and what we want to be in life. It is subtle, and shown instead of told, but very powerful all the same. Indeed, locking yourself into a sexual preference before you really understand what sexual preference really means, can limit your choices throughout your life.
This reviewer was most impressed with the idealism that shines through in Zanna’s character. He is the good fairy with the magic want that makes love happen. The message I got as an older adult recalling my own high school years and that overwhelming feeling of being out of step with the crowd is how far we have come to be able to discuss these issues and shed light on the beauty of individualism as well as the courage it takes to pursue it.
The high-energy presentation, the music, the rapid pace and the enthusiasm of the cast combined to make an hour and a half seem like moments. Well done on all fronts.