After an acclaimed run off-off-Broadway at the Rodney Kirk Theatre on the new Theatre Row, ZANNA, DONT! has moved up the street and off-Broadway to the Houseman Theatre for an open-ended engagement. This is a spectacular example of a musical comedy with such a positive message and clean-cut script that the entire family can attend together. It is the definition of a feel-good production!
The story of a personable teen named Zanna, who has a need to give budding love a helping hand, plus the keen eye and magic wand to speed the process, ZANNA, DONT! is set in a world where homosexuality is the norm, and heterosexuals are considered an oddity. The town is called Heartsville, USA. All of the characters are homosexual, or so we think, until one bold student writes a musical about forbidden heterosexual attraction in the army, and the true, closeted desires of two of the cast members come to the surface. A world much like our own, save for this twist on statistical norms, the witty script is full of humor, love, and ironic commentary about social stereotypes.
With a string of great songs, great vocals (most notably by Anika Larsen), and sleek comic performances by the avid cast (including the versatile Amanda Ryan Paige), this show is an altogether delight. In these uncertain times, a show like ZANNA, DONT! is just the sort of professional, escapist entertainment that we all owe it to ourselves to indulge in.
- Kessa De Santis -