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Powerhouse Theatre
LA Weekly Review
June 16, 2005

Reviewed by Martin Hernandez

"Girls can do anything" is the motto of Atalanta (Elizabeth Tobias), a princess who longs to travel the world. Atalanta pushes her friend Diana (Lori Scarlett) to break into the all-male minstrel ranks, but the King (Guerin Barry) and Atalanta's maid, Imogene (Deb Snyder), have other plans for the independent girl: to marry and settle down in fulfillment of the kingdom's traditions. What's the plucky girl to do? Based on a story from Free To Be You and Me, Marlo Thomas' 1970s TV special and album, this spry family musical, under David Mowers' nimble direction, extols the theme of overcoming adversity to realize one's dreams. Karen Hardcastle's book goes heavy on the sugar, but the exuberance of her lyrics and David O's music compensate - despite Tobias' tendency to muffle her songs. Rounding out the ensemble is Peter Musante as a local boy enamored of Atalanta and an excellent Tom Beyer portraying a series of bizarre suitors. Still, it would be nice to see even a dash of ethnic diversity on the stage - a quality with which Thomas' projects abounded. Then the show's universal message would be a tad more universal. Creative PlayGround at the Powerhouse Theater Company, 3116 Second St., Santa Monica; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru July 17. (310) 396-3680, Ext. 0.

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