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‘Descendants: The Musical’ has something for everyone


Fort Myers Theatre is producing five performances of Disney’s Descendants: The Musical June 29 through July 3rd. The musical features many of Disney’s favorite fairy tale characters, but philosophically, it poses a deep and fundamental question – whether so-called bad people are capable or incapable of change.

The set up is pretty straightforward. Ben, the benevolent teenage son of Belle and King Adam (The Beast), offers the troublemaking offspring of villains Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella De Vil and Jafar a chance of redemption when he invites them to attend Auradon Prep. Now entering a completely foreign world and way of life, the foursome, Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos, have a difficult choice to make: should they follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps or learn to be good?

Unlike Into the Woods or Cinderella, there’s no Sondheim or Rodgers & Hammerstein to provide a cohesive, unified score. In this production, the songbook is drawn from a veritable legion of storied songwriters, including Johan Alkenas, Adam Anders, Aristeidis Archontis, Antonina Armato, Howard Ashman, Peer Astrom, Stephen Mark Conley, Doug Davis, Charity Daw, Andrew C. Dodd, Josh Edmondson, Pipo Fernandez, Nikki Hassman, Samuel Hollander, Ben Hostetler, Tim James, Hanna Jones, Jack Kugell, Craig Lashley, Andrew Lippa, Jeannie Lurie, Alan Menken, Grant Phillip Michaels, Anthony Mirabella, Shayna Mordue, Chen Neeman, Susan Paroff, Shelly M. Peiken, Joacim Persson, James K. Petrie, Adam Schlesinger, Adam Schmalholz, Tyler Shamy, Jodie Shihadeh, Nikki Ann Sorrentino, Thomas Armato Sturges, Ali Dee Theodore, Matthew Wong and David Zippel. But, magically, it all works synergistically to produce a fun musical with rocking song-and-dance numbers.

Best of all, Descendants has something for everyone. Youngsters thrill to see their favorite Disney characters in an unexpected setting while their parents and grandparents not only get to relive a little bit of their own childhoods, but draw satisfaction from the show’s overarching message – that no matter our origins or background, we all get to choose whether we want to be someone who puts good into the world without demanding anything in return.

Michelle Kuntze directs and choreographs another of her trademark large casts.

Go here for play dates, times and a full cast list.

June 25, 2023.

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