swak-jpgSWAK (Sealed With A Kiss) By  June Rachelson-Ospa

Underground Theater at 215 East 99th Street, NYC
Produced by Identity Theatre

Review by Alexa Garcia

SWAK or Sealed with a Kiss is a classic retelling of the Frog Prince story. Actually, it’s not really your usual fairy-tale of the princess and the frog… it’s more of the Frog-Prince and the Princesses featuring a witch. The frog prince has shared his curse with the princess adding a strange yet intriguing and surely fun-filled twist on the classic tale. SWAK will make you laugh, scream and simply entertained.

SWAK is directed by Christopher Scott from a story with book and lyrics by June Rachelson-Ospa, featuring music by Phil Goodbody. The production is a family-friendly musical for all to enjoy. The cast, led perfectly by Devin Tupler (Grizzella), Akeil Davis (Frog prince) and Jamie Grossman (Princess with the golden ball, Snow white, and Sleeping beauty) sung beautifully then provided deft delivery soliciting peels of laughter. Samantha Randolph (Evil Queen) overacted perfectly; David Stephens (Dwarf, Magic mirror, Dragon) manipulated his powerful voice into a bevy of roles worthy of the cartoon network; however, Emanuel Pinkhasov (Sorcerer) gave visual satisfaction with clever make-up and costuming but was not up to the energy level of his fellow cast members.

This charming initiate musical was filled with ditties that were certainly hum-able. Ospa’s well-constructed tunes were golden in the hands or more likely, the throat, of  Jamie Dillon Grossman. Her voice was amazing. We toss around expressions like “Broadway quality” but she fits such a bill. Like all plays with a kid factor, audience interaction adds to the fun. Akeil Davis and Emanuel Pinkhasov brought the show into the laps of the audience for some extra laughs.

Bring the kids … or just bring the kid in you. SWAK is swell and Identity Theatre is definitely the little company that could.

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