The movie Little Miss Sunshine has a very special place in my heart, not only because I laughed ‘til I cried and cried ‘til I laughed, but also because it was the very last movie I saw before becoming a mom. My husband and I had heard ad nauseum that we would not have the time, energy or wherewithal to see a movie for a long time to come once the baby was born so at 40 weeks pregnant, I waddled in and sat my monstrous behind in the stadium seating, shoved buttered popcorn in my pie-hole by the handfuls and fell madly in love with the Hoover family and that clunker of a yellow bus.
Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of seeing the shiny, Academy award-winning movie brought to life, in the musical version at the La Jolla Playhouse. What a treat! Though the live show does not have quite the same sparkle as the movie, it certainly has the same joyful, irreverent spirit that makes the audience laugh, cry and dance in their seats along with the main characters. With a dynamite cast, including Dick Latessa as the cranky, crass, call-it-like-it-is grandpa character, the world premiere of Little Miss Sunshine, takes the audience on a sunny, yet dark journey across several states to the hilarious and poignant Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Just as in the movie, Olive Hoover, played by the delightful Georgi James, has a way of making even the darkest story line seem bright. She cheers up her family and the audience with her sweet innocence and utter determination at landing that Little Miss Sunshine title.
As with most newly released theatrical productions, the script and book could use some tightening. There are a few “construction zones” where the show moves along at a slow, morning-rush hour pace, but on the whole, it is a fun and entertaining show. And just as with the movie, the final scene, when Olive finally gets her moment to shine, does not disappoint! Trust me, you’ll be shaking your badonkadonk all night long after you leave the theatre.
Little Miss Sunshine runs until March 27th so cruise on over to the box office to get your tix (or click here). And while you’re at it, be sure to check out the La Jolla Playhouse 2011/2012 Season that was recently announced. In a few months they will be turning yet another one of my favorite movies into a musical—Finding Neverland. Sure hope they land Johnny Depp in the lead role!
Please note: Little Miss Sunshine is recommended for ages 12+.
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend a special evening at the theatre, which included a performance of Little Miss Sunshine and a lovely pre-show soiree along with a few local bloggers. Writing a post was not a requirement of attending the evening but I enjoyed the show and wanted to share the love with the TodaysMama readers.