Pinkalicious brings her pink cupcakes to Detroit

‘Pinkalicious The Musical’ is celebrating its10th anniversary. The show runs Friday-Sunday at The City Theatre

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Amber Dickerson admits she loves cupcakes — and recommends trying the cupcakes at Billy’s Bakery in New York City, especially the chocolate ones — but if there was one food she couldn’t stop eating, like her character Pinkalicious, it would have to be mangoes.

“I’m sort of the opposite of Pinkalicious,” she says. “I love green food in real life.”

Dickerson is the lead in Vital Theatre’s “Pinkalicious The Musical,” a nationwide tour coming to Detroit’s City Theatre inside Hockeytown Cafe this weekend. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the production based on the popular children’s book “Pinkalicious” by co-authors and illustrators Victoria and Elizabeth Kann.

“I love seeing the kids reactions and how excited they get when they come to see the show,” Dickerson, 27, says in a call from New York City, “and they all know the book, so it’s really fun to bring that to life for them.”

The hourlong musical is about Pinkalicious, a little girl who loves the color pink. Pink sweets. Pink outfits. Pink everything. One day, her mom and little brother Peter bake pink cupcakes, and it doesn’t end well.

“She just wants to keep eating them and keep eating them, and her parents say ‘no,’ but she eats them anyway and turns pink,” Dickerson says.

Her mother takes her to the doctor who diagnoses her with a very rare case of Pinkititis. The remedy? No more pink cupcakes, pink bubble gum or pink cotton candy — only greens!

Well, Pinkalicious doesn’t listen. She sneaks to the kitchen in the middle of the night eat seven more cupcakes, and (spoiler alert!) turns red. That’s one of Dickerson’s favorite scenes.

“It’s the most shocking to the kids,” she says, describing her red hair, red skin and red costume.

“Eventually, Pinkalicious comes to the conclusion that she does have to eat green food,” Dickerson says, “and before her parents see her red, she eats green food and turns back to normal.”

This is Dickerson’s second year starring in the role. (She’s also in another Vital Theatre musical called “Flight School,” which is about a penguin that learns to fly.)

The Georgia native who studied theater performance at Columbus State University says there’s a few important lessons that run through “Pinkalicious,” including “listen to your parents,” because they know best. And eat your veggies, because they’re good for you. There’s also a strong message that pertains to Peter, who loves the color pink.

“Our dad doesn’t want him to like it because he’s a boy, but in the end, we see that it’s OK for everyone to like whatever it is, regardless of gender,” Dickerson says. “So it’s OK if boys like pink.”

The story is based on Victoria Kann’s daughters, who love cupcakes and all things pink.

“I wrote it as an April Fools’ joke and sent it to my friends and family telling everyone that my daughter had turned pink after eating too many pink cupcakes,” Kann writes on the Pinkalicious website. “Some folks who knew just how much my daughter loved the color pink and pink cupcakes were very, very concerned.”

Kann is now a New York Times bestselling author and has penned other stories starring Pinkalicious, including “Purplicious,” “Silverlicious” and “Goldilicious.” Her sister, who’s a doctor, co-wrote the storybook and musical.

Dickerson, one of five cast members, says it’s a neat experience to be part of the 10th anniversary show, and the Vital Theatre Company is planning a birthday party to invite past cast members from the last decade.

“That will be really cool to be in a room with everyone who’s worked on it,” she says.

To celebrate properly, it would makes sense to serve pink-frosted cupcakes — something the actors don’t actually use on stage.

As Dickerson points out, “that would be a mess.”

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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg

“Pinkalicious The Musical”

The City Theatre

2301 Woodward, Detroit

April 28-30

General admission tickets are $29.50 through Ticketmaster