‘Rebel’ has pounding pop with pouting princesses 

click to enlarge Royal party: “Her Rebel Highness” features 18th century princesses prancing to a 20th century beat. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Royal party: “Her Rebel Highness” features 18th century princesses prancing to a 20th century beat.

Teatime snacks, libations, 18th-century costumes, pounding pop music and enthusiastic players comprise “Her Rebel Highness,” an unlikely historically themed entertainment in a South of Market bar.

The odd 45-minute revue, which opened Sunday at Harlot on Minna Street, is accompanied by catered reception (sausage rolls, shrimp on toast, cheese tarts), bar service and a chance afterward to take a photograph with the performers, who are decked out in glittering period outfits.

The one-a-kind outing, which has moved to The City following performances in Alameda, is created by Velia Amarasingham, who, along with Maria Mikheyenko and Linsay Rousseau Burnett, portray the fictional princesses of the title. Director and choreographer Danica Sena plays a dancing lady-in-waiting.

Between song-and-dance numbers inspired by 1980s-era Madonna, Michael Sommers, as a court valet, introduces the princesses, describing how each is dissatisfied with her lot in court life.    

Melodic songs, with a pulsing drum machine beat and three-part harmonies, aren’t bad. But their contemporary flavor doesn’t contrast all that interestingly to the pseudo-historical nature of what little story there is in “Her Rebel Highness.”  

Meanwhile, the creators-performers, while clearly dedicated, don’t quite have the singing and acting chops to pull off the material.

More remarkable are marketing and packaging efforts. Upon arrival, audiences are greeted with a little velvet goodie bag, tasty refreshments served by maids in costume and the promise to toast with royalty.

While the pleasant add-ons pad out the proceedings, “Her Rebel Highness” nonetheless requires considerable more breadth and depth to become the majestic musical revue advertised in its glossy flyer.


Her Rebel Highness
Where: Harlot, 46 Minna St., S.F.
When: 5 p.m. Sundays; closes Aug. 12
Tickets: $25 to $65
Contact: (415) 735-1627, www.herrebelhighness.com
Note: Patrons must be 21.

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Leslie Katz

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