Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LEONTop to bottom, Madeleine Huggins (Snow White) Juanita-Renay Shockley (the Princess Who Kissed the Frog), Christina Concilio (Hua Mulan, Pocahontas, Princess Badroulbadour), Kirsten Almeida (Sleeping Beauty), Jessie Dau (Cinderella) and Julisa Trinidad (The Little Mermaid, Belle, Rapunzel), Star of the Day production of “Disenchanted! The Musical.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LEONTop to bottom, Madeleine Huggins (Snow White) Juanita-Renay Shockley (the Princess Who Kissed the Frog), Christina Concilio (Hua Mulan, Pocahontas, Princess Badroulbadour), Kirsten Almeida (Sleeping Beauty), Jessie Dau (Cinderella) and Julisa Trinidad (The Little Mermaid, Belle, Rapunzel), Star of the Day production of “Disenchanted! The Musical.”

Curtain Rises: Star of the Day notes fifth anniversary season

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

Kirsten Almeida is founder of Star of the Day, a Lehigh Valley theater troupe noting its fifth anniversary season.

“I’ve been involved in theater since I was 14-years-old,” says Almeida, who lives with her husband in Lower Saucon Township.

Star of the Day opened its season at The Macungie Institute Performing Arts and Conference Center, Macungie, with the Lehigh Valley premiere of “Disenchanted! The Musical,” Sept. 19-28.

Prior to founding Star of the Day, which is her first nonprofit theater company, Almeida was in four off-Broadway shows during 2009, the national tour of “The Little Engine That Could” with the Omaha Theatre Company, which played in 41 states in 2010, and a presentation of “Curtains” on Broadway for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 2013.

Almeida, a New Bedford, Mass., native, received a BA in Theater and Speech from Wagner College in 1997. She worked for a nonprofit firm, commuting to New Jersey for 12 years before leaving in 2008 to perform theater professionally.

Star of the Day’s productions have included “Romeo and Juliet,” “Freaky Friday” and “Godspell.”

Of choosing “Disenchanted! The Musical!,” Almeida says, “Because I’m a private voice coach, I’m always looking for shows that are unique.

“This year, because we knew we’d be working in small spaces, I was also looking for shows with smaller casts.

“I found clips of it [‘Disenchanted’] on YouTube and then contacted the composer [Dennis T. Giacino]. After speaking with him, I decided I wanted to produce it here. He told me that no one from this area had done it yet.”

Of “Disenchanted!,” Almeida says, “It stars everyone’s favorite princesses to set the record straight, that Walt Disney took the original stories and made them sunshine and lollipops. But we all know that that’s not true.

“And he [Disney] set a precedent, teaching little girls that in order to feel worthy, they had to be perfect and have things instead of feelings. In order for the princesses to feel worthy, they needed a man.

“In ‘Disenchanted,’ the princesses break it down and say, ‘It’s OK to wear a crown. It’s OK to have pretty hair. But you don’t need a prince in shining armor to save the day.’”