The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea

by Kirsten Childs and Andrew Chukerman
directed by Stafford Arima
originally produced at San Diego REPertory Theatre, San Diego, CA.
November 23,2008 through December 21, 2008

About the Premiere Production:

The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea Set in the heart of two exotic African kingdoms, The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea transforms Hans Christian Andersen's cherished fairy tale into a soulful musical comedy. With a charming sense of fun and play, this enchanting production is a delight for all ages. Rousing gospel, funky rhythm and blues, tropical African world beat and soaring pop ballads, The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea poses the question "Does fate or free will lead us to true love?"

Colorful characters rule the African kingdoms of Kheba and Torel – one is the tyrannical Queen Mother Zauba, the other, a befuddled King Nat whose teenage daughter, Princess Quelie, has never been outside the sheltering palace walls. When the most feared warrior in the land, Vinzulu, vows he will force her to be his queen, the defiant Princess climbs the walls, braves a wild storm and heads into the dangerous forest to seek her freedom.

Meanwhile, back in Torel, the sad Prince Gallant has not yet found the princess of his dreams. To assist, the Queen Mother plans an elaborate ball, during which her son accidentally stumbles upon a ragged and starving Quelie. It’s love at first sight, but will fate let these love birds stay together? There's only one way to find out – the sacred and legendary test of The Black-Eyed Pea!

Artistic Statement

From Sam Woodhouse, Artistic Director San Diego REPertory Theatre: The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea is one of the largest and most ambitious productions in San Diego REP's 32 year history. Set in a fantastical Africa, featuring a cast of 15 African American performers and offering a book and score that fuses musical comedy, rhythm and blues and world beat music, this PEA is a joyous and perfect example of our commitment to exotic and provocative theatre.

Director: Stafford Arima
Book: Kirsten Childs
Music and Lyrics: Andrew Chukerman
Musical Direction: Jim Vukovich
Presented by Special Arrangement with Chris Bensinger.

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