Review: Fancy Nancy The Musical (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Fancy Nancy cast members, photo by Seanna KennedyBreak out the boa for the LOT’s Fancy Nancy The Musical, now on the Toronto stage!

In honour of the delightful show I saw earlier — Fancy Nancy The Musical (on now at Lower Ossington Theatre) — I’m drinking water from my fanciest bejewelled wine glass. That’s one of the inspirations I took home from Fancy Nancy The Musical today: anything can be fancy!

Based on the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor, this show is a light-hearted story about Nancy, a fancy girl, and her fun, fancy friends. When her dramatic dreams are crushed and the coveted role in a school play goes to someone else, can Nancy use her fancy flair to bring her role to life, even though she’s disappointed?

I’m not going to tell you! But I will tell you why I loved this show.

To start with, I love that I was so woefully underdressed. Even though I rode up on my pink-seated bike, wearing my favourite pink shirt and sequinned shoes, I had nothing on the crowd of pint-sized princesses in attendance. If there was a show to bust out the boas, tiaras, glitter, and rhinestones, this is it. (Don’t worry if you forget, they’re available to buy at concession, along with glowing wands).

My companion Marcel and I were operating on zero and three hours sleep, respectively. “You didn’t tell me this was a kids’ show!” he proclaimed, looking vaguely frightened. Indeed, I looked around and saw that we were pretty much the only unaccompanied adults in attendance.

Despite our sleep deprivation, we both had such a good time! One of the best aspects of this show — and Marcel’s favourite part — was the basic moral of the story: try your best, make the best of what you have, and take joy in your friends’ happiness and triumphs.

I’m more hard pressed to decide on my favourite part. Was it the staging? With it’s colourful, artistic, glittery, shiny, BUBBLE-MACHINE HAVING splendor? The way they turned the bright set into an underwater scene was beautiful and dramatic!

Maybe it was the equally colourful, fun, sparkly, pretty, and versatile costumes? Seeing a mermaid tail turn into a Queen’s cape was clever and delightful! Fun, shiny hairstyles, mermaid costumes, and seahorse hats are *kind of* my thing.

Was the music (composed by Danny Abosch) my favourite part? I’m still humming some of the catchy, bubbly songs many hours later. I found the music fun and very well-written.

No… I’ve got it! My favourite part had to be the cast! They brought all of the above elements to life for me. With energy, excitement, positivity, and over-the-top passion they made me laugh, clap, cheer, and feel good all over. I was very impressed by their timing, humour, athleticism, and funky dance moves.

They transformed the small-ish but comfortable Lower Ossington Theatre into a princess’s dream room. I found it all just a bit magical, and I’m at a loss to name anything I didn’t like about this show.

Yes, it’s a kids show. But that doesn’t mean adults won’t enjoy it. Many times, I was clapping and laughing harder than anyone. While it may be primarily aimed at female-identified kids, as the shark reminded us: “it’s not just for girls!”

If you want to feel good, enjoy some dazzling colours and pretty things, learn some fancy new words (there is a lot of helpful translation), or if you just need an excuse to wear your boa outside of the bedroom, check out Fancy Nancy The Musical.


Photo of Fancy Nancy The Musical Cast by Seanna Kennedy