The experience of moving Pinkalicious: The Musical from the Apollo Theatre to our new downtown home at the Broadway Playhouse has been, well, completely pinkatastic. In fact, our entire journey has been pinkerrific. We are coming up on 15 months with this project, and like all toddlers, we continue to be amazed by and learn from the world around us; in our case: the world of the Power of Pink.
One of the most rewarding parts of being in Pinkalicious is, by far, the enthusiastic response we receive from kids. When I first received my script, I was told it was based on a popular children’s book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, and that it was currently pretty en vogue amongst 3-8 year olds. I remember thinking, “excellent, kids like it!” but never having heard of the book myself, I didn’t know it was a “thing.”
Oh, how wrong I was.
The moment Lara Mainier first took the stage as Pinkalicious Pinkerton, I was blown away by our audience’s response. They screamed, they cheered, and they called her name. It was sheer ‘Beatlemania,’ and it was overwhelming. Far more impressive is that their enthusiasm hasn’t waned: over a year later and in an entirely different venue, by the reaction of the crowd, every show still feels like a premiere.
But what is it about Pinkalicious? It hit me one day. We pack a lot of content into a 57-minute production. It is not fluff, but actually chock-full of deeply important messages for our impressionable young audiences.
Pinkalicious: The Musical’s most prominent lessons are the ideas of family, acceptance, unconditional love, friendship, and the importance of keeping promises. In what world are these topics mere fluff and not some of the most important lessons we can teach? I know I have learned these things from our show, though perhaps in a more behind-the-scenes sense.
My cast is my family. Of all the Pinkalicious cast members, past and present, every one of them has been absolutely wonderful, both as performers and as people. I don’t know an ensemble anywhere else that is as supportive, loving, and considerate as the one I surround myself with every week. We make each other laugh daily, and we accept each other for who we are, no matter how unconventional, no matter how different.
These kids are onto something. The ‘Power of Pink’ is more than just wanting to be pink from head to toe because you like the color. It is about finding yourself, and surrounding yourself with what you love and those who accept you for what you are. The ‘Power of Pink’ is about learning to accept what is different. The ‘Power of Pink’ is about moderation. The ‘Power of Pink’ is about keeping promises. The ‘Power of Pink’ is about forgiving petty disagreements.
Pinkalicious is more than a book and more than a musical. I hope that our audiences have been able to take away some of the same lessons I’ve soaked up from my experience so far. I have learned so much during this 15-month journey, and I have no intention of stopping. When you see us singing “Pink is love, pink is joy, and most of all, we love you,” know that we mean it.
Julia P. Gordon
Assistant Director and Alison in Pinkalicious: The Musical