Theater Review: Fancy Nancy – The Musical

Fancy Nancy

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“Fancy Nancy: The Musical,” presented at the Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA, takes everyone’s favorite creative and imaginative little girl, along with her loyal friends, on a journey of growth, self-discovery, and encouragement. The school is putting on a play, and Nancy (Jillian Batt/Kristin Cortines) has her sights set on the undersea role of a beautiful mermaid.

While Nancy’s friends, Bree (Zoe Godfrey-Grinage/Juliet Parker), Rhonda (Fiona Burrows/Cecily Dowd), Wanda (Alyssa Corella/Claire Manson), and Lionel (Elijah Douglas/Matt Takahashi) are cast in dream roles like seahorses and sharks, Nancy obtains the less-than-stellar role as… a tree. Disappointed with the results, Nancy still makes time to play with tea and dress in tiaras and feather boas. Nancy’s mother, Mrs. Clancy (Haley Catherine/Katelyn Spurgin), is there every step of the way to help her daughter navigate those tough emotional moments life throws.

Fancy Nancy

It’s easy to see why the theater has been able to bring back this musical production for children returning for its seventh season to the Chance Theater. Fans young and young at heart are drawn right into the excitement upon stepping inside. The theater’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in the variety of activities available, from tables of books, plush, stickers, and other activities for purchase, to the option to provide tiaras and feathered boas to make the show extra special. The book’s illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser also makes frequent appearances to the show since the production’s inception, further enhancing the sense of community and welcome.

The engaging story appropriately translates a wonderful transition from book to stage. Inspiring young readers to take more of the creative arts into their lives with performance. The actors do a stellar job of bringing characters to life for the target age group. The humor appeals equally to adults and children with its silly innocence, exaggerated expressions, and comic timing. After the one-hour and ten-minute performance (with a fifteen-minute intermission), the audience is invited onstage to meet, greet, take pictures, and sign autographs with the characters.

Fancy Nancy

“Fancy Nancy: The Musical” is irresistibly engaging for an entertaining family event. Fans of the book series will immediately rejoice and be enthralled by the story, characters, and songs. The show’s interactive elements, including some light audience participation from the comfort of your seat, add an extra layer of fun and excitement. Our favorite moment was Lionel’s shark song for the “Deep Sea Dances Ballet”.

Book and lyrics by Susan Dilallo. Music and lyrics by Danny Abosch. Based on the popular “Fancy Nancy” books by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Directed by Laura M. Hathaway. Music direction by Robyn Manion. Now playing at the Chance Theater on select days until June 9, 2024. For more information and ticket sales call (888) 455-4212 or visit

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