Pearl, Debbie Allen's song and dance retelling of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," makes its West Coast premiere at Los Angeles' Geffen Theatre Nov. 12-Dec. 22. Allen, who also directs and choreographs the musical adventure, stars as The Queen, a fading pop star who can't take the success of her stepdaughter, Pearl.
The dance-intensive Pearl tells the story of young girl whose beautiful voice starts to outshine her stepmother's, leaving her banished from her privileged life. Pursued by the Queen's desire for revenge, Pearl flees into the forest where she meets the clownish Dwowns and falls in love with her prince, Charm. Pearl's world premiere at Kennedy Center, who commissioned the musical, featured art-imitating-life casting — Allen's daughter Vivian Nixon starred as Pearl, while Allen took the role of the evil Queen.
Nixon will reprise her role as Pearl. Also in the cast are comedian Buddy Lewis as The Queen's bodyguard Q, Broadway veteran Matthew Dickens (Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard) as the Ringmaster/Dr. Drewdy, Screen Actors Guild Award winner Michele Morgan (Allison Beaumont on "E.R.") as Virtual Shirley and ballet dancer Rasta Thomas as Charm. The musical will also feature a 35-member children's ensemble.
Tickets are $28-$46. The Geffen Playhouse is at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Westwood, CA. For reservations, call (310) 208-5454. The Geffen Playhouse is on the web at http://www.geffenplayhouse.com.
— By Christine Ehren