Mileep and the Attack of the Jellybean People, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. In Robert Bouwman and Todd Schaner’s new children’s show there’s no limit to what a little boy, Mileep, can imagine. His family lives in a colony on the planet Cashton whose gloomy inhabitants drone on about “work, work, work.” Mileep is the only exception: in his quest for galactic domination, he imagines a world of Pretzel Women Warriors and Jellybean People who work for Black Licorice. As Mileep’s imagination continues to run rampant, adults begin to suggest that he “stop being different” and “fall in line,” and eventually his real and fabricated worlds collide in a fantastical adventure.
The whimsical story is a lark made even more entertaining by such comical characterizations as Maria Xerogines’s robot nanny, Nancy 4000, and Meg Spletzer’s Ms. Stenchbottom, a dramatically dull teacher with bad hair. Nevertheless this production falls short. Some of the narrative elements are confusing, Sarah Ballema’s staging is too loose, and at the opening the lighting was sloppy. The show may tighten up with continued performances, but there’s little possibility that certain cast members will learn to sing better. Some of Scott Lamberty’s songs have potential but are hindered by the performers’ poor voices, and clarity is lost in overlapping lyrics. In the hands of a stronger ensemble, however, this could be a clever nonsensical tale.