Where in the world is Camilla Sanfrancisco? is pure, well-produced fun. Jeff Vonch is both co-writer and producer, with fellow writers Patrick English and J. Adrian Verkourteren. Under the sure direction of Patrick Magill, this musical shines. Camilla Sanfrancisco is the light-hearted story of a character very familiar to anyone who was a kid in the 90s like me and much of the audience. It tells the honorable beginnings of a red fedora-wearing criminal who bears a striking resemblance to the educational game and television character Carmen Sandiego. She leaves geographical clues to lead the gumshoes on a chase around the globe for her. This is the story of her start in a life of crime.
The musical is simply charming. Camilla is played with vocal magic by the fabulous Vanessa Kinzey. But she is not the only standout because everyone in the cast does a great job of balancing a sincere story and some serious songs with great comic timing and geographical wizardry.
Joseph Leskody as the rookie gumshoe made a potentially annoying character endearing and Autumn Seavey as Camilla’s rival succeeded on sheer force of personality and a heavenly voice. The rest of the cast, switching roles at the drop of hat (literally) give each character hilarious life.
There is a sequence in India with Bollywood dancing that was memorable and hilarious, as was the leather clad dominatrix thief and a tango in Argentina. But my favorite scene was the more serious end when Camilla confronts the person setting her up in a classic superhero v. villain showdown set to the strongest song in the piece, “Daddy’s Girl.”
You don’t have to be a fan or even know anything about Carmen Sandiego to enjoy this excellent production, but if she had any claim on on your childhood, I wouldn’t miss it. The in-jokes and geography trivia had most of the audience rolling. Do you know which U.S. state has the most states bordering it? Come and find out!
My only tip is to buy your tickets now.
Where in the World? The Untold Story of Camilla Sanfrancisco will be the runaway hit of this year’s Capital Fringe Festival!