In 2011, when the Columbus Children’s Theatre first produced the musical based on the popular book series, all 21 performances sold out before the first show.
“That never happens,” said Bill Goldsmith, artistic director. “For, like, three days, the phone never stopped ringing. Our staff was exhausted.”
Given the response, he looked for another opportunity to stage the show.
Although tickets are selling well, plenty of seats remain for the three-week run of Pinkalicious, Goldsmith said. The show will open tonight at the Park Street Theatre. The plot features the title character, a young girl who loves pink so much and eats so many pink cupcakes that she turns pink.
When a doctor diagnoses “pinkatitis” and recommends a diet of green vegetables, Pinkalicious throws a fit, eats even more cupcakes and turns bright red.
“I loved the books,” said Bank, a seventh-grader at New Albany Middle School, “and I think that helped me, just knowing the story.
“The show is really fun; the music is so much fun. It’s different from the music in some other kids’ shows. I enjoy listening to the music and singing the music.”
One of the most challenging scenes is the one in which Bank turns pink.
“She goes to bed; the cupcakes are dancing around her in a dream; and when she wakes up, she’s pink,” Goldsmith said. “So she needs to change costumes, get makeup and get back in bed before the song ends.”
Beneath the high jinks, though, is a moral lesson.
As Pinkalicious goes through her ordeal, her brother, Peter (played by Rayli Boyd), struggles with the fact that he, too, loves pink. And her father (played by Ashley D. Sergent) harbors a secret — he is the only other person ever to receive a diagnosis of pinkatitis.
The plotline resonated with Sergent, the father of a 21-year-old daughter.
“Dad has a history, so how is he raising and educating his own two kids?” Sergent asked. “How does he encourage and nurture their passion for the color pink? Especially for the boy, because that color is really gender-specific.
“As a father, I was huge about not stereotyping with gender-specific behavior. I always taught my daughter that, even though this is what society may say, if you have a passion, you need to live it and enjoy it.”