Two words aptly describe the Sydney premiere production of Little Miss Sunshine which is based on the 2006 smash hit film by the same name – absolutely delightful!!
The story follows the journey of an extremely dysfunctional yet strangely inspirational family as they embark on a long road trip from New Mexico to California. The purpose of this journey? Olive, the unattractive yet very hopeful teenage daughter, wants to fulfil her dream of entering a beauty pageant.
They pack their van, head off to the Little Miss Sunshine Beauty Pageant and along the way inadvertently rediscover one another. The journey ultimately transitions from comical and intense, to the therapeutic journey which was vital in restoring their faith in the family unit.
Family matters which are discussed as they travel the highways include sex, homosexuality, porn, drugs, marital difficulties, broken dreams, attempted suicide and death.
A very capable cast of 12 performers is headed by Kiera Dzeparoski as the simple yet very likable Olive who strives to follow her dreams and shun those who exclaim, “She’s not special – she’s Olive!”
Colourful sets and costumes are a feast for the eyes, but the bright yellow van which is seemingly fully operation in the minds of the audience commands stage presence and can unquestionably be categorised as one of the principal characters in the show.
Songs tell the story, as the cast alternate from comedic and dramatic moments to musical numbers, but as integral as they are to the storytelling, they’re not the memorable style of songs with catchy themes which audiences would traditionally be humming long after leaving the theatre.
There’s a good mix of comedy and intense drama, but the dance sequence in the finale, as in the film, will leave audiences rolling down the aisles in fits of laughter!
There are elements of “this loser family which should appear on reality television” in most families. Audiences from all walks of life should enjoy this musical comedy. Anybody who has ever tried their best and followed their dream, failed but not given up will relate – even the young rebellious teenagers who have “kicked ass”! (MMo)
Until Dec 14. New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown, $20-$35. Tickets & Info: www.newtheatre.org.au