A family musical that will keep both adults and children entertained


King Edward and His Kingdom

King Edward and His Kingdom


King Timmy and the Kids

King Timmy and the Kids


By Joel Benjamin


Subtitled “A Madcap Musical for Revolutionaries of All Ages,” Timmy the Great is a family musical with just enough sophistication and wit to keep adults amused.  Timmy has the feel of a fable, a cross between Dr. Seuss and Thurber that tells of a nine year old who inherits the throne of “a country located on a map in that space where the color extends the boundaries.”  There are loads of jolly shtick, whimsical songs and a game cast that performs—miracle of miracles!—without microphones.

The libretto is based on a novel by Sandra Hochman & Tadeusz Danielak and is written by Ms. Hochman, Stavo Craft and Gary Kupper with songs by Ms. Hochman & Gary Kupper.  They have managed to capture a wacky quality that is perfectly matched by the very game cast who, on the night I caught Timmy, were a bit handicapped by an actress’s illness, although the performances were all enthusiastic with no evidence of any gaps.

Timmy (Cormac Cullane) has a delightfully zany dad, King Edward the Sensible (Jason Pintar) who rules a nation that is based solely on the arts and, therefore, constantly broke as his stern Madame Minister (Lisha McKoy)  reminds him.   King Edward is easily eliminated by three neighboring kings (Tommy J. Dose as Gluttonous, Ricky Altamirano as Slow Minded and Andy Schneeflock as Nervous), who want to divide up his country.   Poor, sad Timmy inherits the throne and all its problems.  Timmy befriends two kids, Betty and Frank (Anna McCarthy & Zachary Brod) who help him rule with their precocious wisdom.

How Timmy turns his society upside down, defeats the invading kings and ultimately triumphs, is cleverly revealed through the agility of the unabashedly energetic performers, the shrewdness of the libretto and, mostly, the songs.   “Kingdom of Hearts” is King Edward’s profession of his open-heartedness, while Timmy’s “Protocol” tells of the restrictions imposed on a young heir to the throne.

King Edward gets to strut his stuff in “Vaudeville Royalty.”  A close-harmony “Birthday Chorale” formally celebrates Timmy’s birthday while “A King Who Was Nine” addresses Madame Minister’s concerns about the nine year old king.  “Children of the World Unite” propels Timmy, Betty, Frank and the other children into a new world in which they take on adult responsibilities while the adults enjoy their second childhood.  “Children Again” is the adults’ happy response to their new found freedom.   War is waged with “Pies,” bringing to mind those epic baked goods battles in silent movies.  Finally, “After the War” is Timmy’s moving acceptance of his position.  The music ranged from rock and roll, gospel, classical to pop.

Every actor, adult and child alike, sang and acted well making even the silliest bits come to life.

The set consisted of rainbow colored streamers hanging on all three sides of the stage with simple benches and tables moved about to skillfully indicate different locations.  The costumes, by Michael Piatkowski, were cleverly motley with actors playing several parts adding bits and pieces to change from one character into another.  The music director Eric Svejcar made the most of his tiny ensemble.

The production could use more sophisticated choreography.  Choreographer Julie Arenal, who also co-directed with Jay Binder (of Encores! fame), needs to make more demands on her non-dancing cast with more imaginative movements.  Otherwise, the show was entertaining and clever.

*Photos by Carol Rosegg

Timmy the Great (through September 1st)

Theater for the New City

155 First Ave. (between 9th & 10th Sts.)

New York, NY

Tickets: SmartTix at 866-527-5376 (press option 3) or www.smarttix.com

More Information:  www.timmythegreat.com

Running Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes