'Pinkalicious The Musical' hides messages in fun songs for children
Sometimes there really is too much of a good thing.
And according to Chelsea Bondarenko of Hagerstown, that’s just one of the many lessons in Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater’s production of “Pinkalicious The Musical.” The show opens Saturday, June 9, at the downtown Hagerstown theater, and continues on select Saturdays through August.
Bondarenko is excited to return to the stage in the pink outfit as the show’s main character Pinkalicious, after being able to play the 7-year-old girl nearly four years ago.
“I didn’t know anything about the story until I played the role,” she said. “So after playing it and knowing how fun the music was and how the cute the show was, she was just one of my most favorite roles I’ve ever played. She’s just really fun.”
Based on the popular children’s books by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, the storyline follows Pinkalicious who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes, even after her parents warn her. Her overindulgence of pink lands her in the doctor’s office with a case of Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe. But Pink doesn’t mind until it goes a little too far.
To help her remember how to play a kid, Bondarenko turned to her little sister who is now 10 years old, to see how she reacted to things, as well as her own experience working with children for the last five years.
“Their energy kind of bounces off on me,” she said.
The reason she loves playing Pink is that she’s just so much fun “because she’s running around all the time, and it’s really fun to experience the excitement and joy of being a kid again.”
Parents will enjoy “Pinkalicious The Musical,” too, Bondarenko said, because “there’s a lot of good jokes” and the ending is what parents what to see “because she does choose to make the responsible decision and eat her greens. It’s just so heartwarming and the family is just so loving toward each other.”
Best of all, the entire show is a teaching lesson mixed in with jokes and songs. In addition to the too much of a good thing, Bondarenko said the other lesson is “you get what you get and you don’t get upset, which is a very big thing in the kid’s world and what parents tell their kids all the time. I think it’s very relatable, in that sense.”
Daria Ramos-Izquierdo, left, as Dr. Wink, and Chelsea Bondarenko as Pinkalicious, star in Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater's production of "Pinkalicious The Musical." (Photo by Crystal Schelle)
“Pinkalicious The Musical” is part of the Theater for Young Audiences, which means it was selected specifically with younger theater-goers in mind. And being able to perform for children is a fun experience for Bondarenko.
“They just have so much energy, and they really like to interact, too,” she said. “And this script has a couple of instances where we talk specifically to them and they get to talk back to us, it’s really fun to see their reactions and what they have to say.”
Playing Pink’s younger brother Peter is Logan Conner of McConnellsburg, Pa.
Although Connor wasn’t familiar with the show, he quickly found it to be a fun production.
“It has great music and really great story, and I really enjoyed getting to learn about it,” he said.
Just like Bondarenko when it came to learning how to act like a kid, Connor turned to his younger brother, who is 7.
“Especially after we got our roles, I tried to pay closer attention to some of his characteristics and things he does and says to embody a younger child,” he said.
Connor said he really likes to perform for younger children.
“They’re really receptive especially with (characters) their age in it, they’re very receptive to it,” he said. “It’s just fun to see them take in such important messages and just have fun and be introduced to theater.”
And for a show like this, Connor said it’s just filled with great messages.
“There are several messages that kids really take, not only from Pink’s character but my character, too, about learning to embody who you are and that’s really important for kids to understand and learn at a very young age,” he said.
As for why parents should bring their families to “Pinkalicious The Musical,” Bondarenko said, “the cast is incredible,” but there is “some dancing food that is going to steal the show.”
Top photo: Front row from left, Daria Ramos-Izquierdo as Dr. Wink, and Chelsea Bondarenko as Pinkalicious. Back row from left, Logan Connor as little brother Peter and Noah Gross as dad Mr. Pinkerton. (Photo by Crystal Schelle)