Joel Paley, the writer and lyricist of the 1992 off-Broadway comedy Ruthless! The Musical, could not have foreseen YouTube, Toddlers & Tiaras, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo more than a decade later. Or maybe he could — that would explain the uncanny prescience of his durable showbiz satire about an 8-year-old diva who will do whatever is necessary to become the star of her school play.
David Arisco, who directs Actors’ Playhouse’s production, called it quite simply “the funniest play you’ll ever see.” The all-female cast (plus one guy in drag) includes Actors’ Playhouse regulars Amy Miller Brennan, Sally Bondi, and Jeni Hacker, but what’s already turning heads is the casting of local 12-year-old Julia Dale, as the pint-sized bad seed, in her first professional production. The sixth-grade chanteuse has sung the National Anthem during Miami Heat games for the past three seasons, which have included national television coverage during the NBA Finals. Dale has children’s productions of Cats and Annie on her resumé, but we’ll see how she handles the intimidating stage lights of an award-winning regional theater. New World School of the Arts might want to come calling, though it’ll have to wait another three years or so.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Nov. 3, 2013