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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Life + Arts

Irreverent musical makes US debut

Nursery School Musical, hit of the 2008 Toronto Fringe Festival made its U.S. premiere Wednesday at Theatre LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo Street.’

Director Jimmy Phillips and Musical Director Mitch Pengra orchestrate the satire set around a child’s first day of school – parents giving advice, holding parent-teacher conferences and arranging family play dates.

Even though the cast had a member out because of illness, they did not let the audience down. Nursery School Musical was fun, energetic and creative – a perfect mix for an enjoyable evening.

With a small cast, each actor rotates as different characters and does it so well one doesn’t realize the same actor is playing a different character.

Three ‘children’ star in this production. Emma (Krysti Wilson-Dailey) is the perfectionist, Cody (Leo Laredo) is the slob and Kyle (Josh Wright) is the hyper, overactive child. The children come from cliched families with colorful personalities.

Cody’s parents can be described as ‘trailer hicks.’ His father is a Texan who works on a farm while his mother’s occupation is an exotic dancer. Both live lives of relaxation and enjoy chugging the occasional beer and living as couch potatoes.

Emma’s parents are comparable to Leave it to Beaver. Her mother is a housewife who plans picture-perfect parties for her daughter and attends the housework.

Her father is a businessman who thinks his daughter is a princess and expects perfection from both his wife and his daughter.

Kyle’s mother is a tree-hugging vegan, who makes sure the family’s home is filled with organic food and completely safe and sanitary.

Although this musical is named Nursery School Musical do not be fooled; it contains open-minded adult humor varying from poking at a range of ethnic nannies, religious beliefs and even a sly joke about our president.

The storyline is based on the perspective of the parents, the children and also the teacher, a Ms. Epstein, played by Shondra Marie. The parents share their concerns for their children – success, failure and future endeavors.

The children are tired of their parents constant bickering and annoying requests. The teacher complains about being lonely, unmarried and dealing with her own Jewish family.

The songs were easily relatable to people who have children, want to have children, or are children at heart.

The topics vary from Disney Princesses being whores, to a Mommy Mafia who know everything about everyone.

The songs were very light-hearted along with the play that was funny and catchy the whole time.

Theater LaB Houston will run Nursery School Musical at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through March 21 and at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Tickets are $25. Their next production, China, The Whole Enchilada, is scheduled to run from April through May.

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