Disney's Mulan, Jr.
by Starlight Community Theater
Music and lyrics by
Matthew Wilder, David Zippel, Stephen Schwartz, Jeanine Tesori, and Alexa Junge.
Music adapted and arranged and additional music and lyrics by Bryan Louiselle.
Book adapted and additional lyrics by Patricia Cotter. Based on the 1998 Disney
film and the story ďFa MulanĒ by Robert D. San Souci.
A popular legend in China for more than a millennium, Mulan
is a young woman who joins the army dressed as a man to save her elderly father
from having to rejoin the army. The Disney animated film brilliantly mixed great
comedy, cross-dressing, and powerful storytelling about family, war, and gender
equality. Not to mention some new Disney classic songs including Iíll
Make a Man Out of You and Reflection.
Although the filmís lucky cricket didnít have the good fortune to get into
the stage production, the Fa family ancestors still send out the lovable dragon
mascot Mushu to help Mulan through her military training in the hopes of keeping
her alive and upholding the family honor.
Eric and Susan
Gibson direct this show at Starlight Community Theaterís new home
featuring great views with staggered seating. The set centers around a nice,
large Chinese gazebo protecting five seats for the Fa familyís ancestors and a
dragon head above (sets by Cody Seaver,
Mike Rippenkroeger, and Glenda
Matson). While Samantha Utpadelís
costumes are highlighted by the red-and-gold dragon, also featuring Geri Horacekís make-up design. And bringing honor to them all are
about forty cast members of villagers, soldiers, some stressed ancestors and
stars as our title character, driven to help her father and face the dangers of
war, and delivering some good belting in her soul-searching Reflection.
She also works well with her sort-of-helpful dragon Mushu, with Lilly
LeBlanc turning on the tears during Reflection,
turning on the charisma as she trains Mulan on the basics of man impersonation,
and both of them sporting many amusing expressions. Especially when Captain
Shang (Griffin LeBlanc)
begins to hilariously get his inner woman on for the Keep
ĎEm Guessiní reprise.
ancestors (Brittany Dresevi, Ashley
Gibbons, Quincy Janisse, Riley Watkins, and Savannah
Wilson) are highly individual and enjoyable throughout. As are Mulanís
soldier friends Harleigh Irizarry, Kate
Jolly, and pint-sized but always-ready-for-battle third grader Calista
Quint. James Wilson and Molly
Jimmerson do a nice job as Mulanís parents, and Savoy
Graca is a hoot as Grandma. Dylan
Kurtz is a hot-headed leader of the Huns, Will
Rippenkroeger is the quintessential annoying bureaucrat, Jesse
Pike the judgmental matchmaker, and Justin
Carey the calm Emperor. Surrounding them all is a young ensemble of earnest
villagers, determined soldiers, and even Mushuís fiery breath, all saving
China and combining for an entertaining show.
Performed October 4 - 19, 2013
~ Cast ~
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