Fringe review: And Then…She Did!

AND THEN... SHE DID! by Cat Bernardi (With Wit and Whimsy). At Kidsfest at the George Ignatieff Theatre. July 10.


AND THEN… SHE DID! by Cat Bernardi (With Wit and Whimsy). At Kidsfest at the George Ignatieff Theatre. July 10 at 10 am, July 11 at 3 pm, July 13 at 11:30 am, July 15 at 10 am. See listing. Rating: NNNN

And Then… She Did! may have too vague a title but it is a charming musical, well written and well performed.

It follows Molly (Brianne Kelsick) and her friends from kindergarten to Molly’s 10th birthday. When asked in each grade what she wants to be, Molly consistently says A fairy godmother. Cat Bernardi subtly shows how, as time goes by, what seemed a cute response starts to mark Molly as peculiar. Yet Molly wants to see her friends do well and becomes renowned for her good advice.

Bernardis musical is a gem. Her book is clever, her lyrics inventive and her music covers a wide variety of styles and moods. All six cast members are strong singers, actors and dancers and Kelsick with Tess Barao as her best friend radiate natural enthusiasm.

The main problem is not the show but how it’s been promoted. Its stated age suitability is 5 to 12, but a child would have to be at least 8 to understand what is happening.

The plot summary in the Fringe program only mentions a girl wanting to be a fairy godmother. This will likely lead parents to think the show is a fairy tale when, in fact, fantasy and the supernatural make no appearance.

Yet even though the show presents more of an adults view of what is important to children, Bernardi is clearly so talented that I’m keen to see what she does next.

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