Fashion Academy The Musical follows the story of Mickey/Mackenzie, an aspiring faishonista who wants to make it big. She looks like a cross between Cyndi Lauper and Punky Brewster with a hint of Katy Perry mixed in. Mickey religiously reads her favorite British fashion blogger, Britney, who lives in New York City. Mickey’s dream is to move from Philadelphia to The Big Apple. The curtain opens with Mickey watching a vlog from Britney, who announces an exciting content! There’s a chance to win a trip to the Fashion Academy of Brooklyn (FAB) and study design.
Mickey knows this is her chance to become a fashion superstar. She applies online and wins the contest. When Mickey travels to NYC she leaves her loving redhead mother behind in Philly to stay with her neurotic Aunt Olive, who has a apartment close to FAB. Naturally, Mickey is excited to get creative, but she finds it hard to express herself under the Aunt Olive’s stringent house rules, which require her to carry around hand sanitizer at all times.
FAB is filled with colorful characters including Jade (the daughter of a celebrity wedding dress designer), East and West – a pair of twins – East is obsessed with being calm and Zen-like while West is enthralled with gaining followers on Instagram and finally there’s JC who designs fashion for small canines including his dog named Madonna. Mickey finds it hard to fit in with these fashion forward elitist snobs; until JC takes her under his wing and gives her a makeover. Mickey is forced to question who she truly is and make decision as to her true fashion and real-life identity. The audience sympathizes with Mickey’s plight as she searches for her identity and struggles with fitting in with the crowd.
Fashion Academy Live is a high energy, whimsical and engaging musical for people of all ages. At first I wondered if my son would care for it, but five minutes into the show, he was bouncing around to the songs. He tapped me on the shoulder and whispered “I like it.” Meanwhile, my daughter loved the show. I thought she was going to get on stage with the cast and start busting a move. Instead, she happily danced in her seat and tried to sing along with the cast even though she didn’t know the words.
With some children’s theater, it can be challenging for the cast to engage adults. Fashion Academy succeeds at keeping the audience interested with a plot line that is versatile enough to appeal to both adults and children. There were subtleties that only adults would understand, such as the character of West’s desire to gain massive amounts of social media followers. And then there were things that were mostly appealing to the younger generation, such as the high energy dance numbers and neon clothing that Mickey wore during the duration of the show. Looking for a fun show to bring your kids to in NYC? Fashion Academy The Musical is it. My seven-year-old son, five-year-old daughter and I loved this musical. So what are you waiting for? Go see Fashion Academy Live!