Thanks to this dentally challenged ‘Prince,’ more teeth will shine

A musical about dental hygiene? Hey, why not. If Alexander Hamilton can get his own musical, then floss deserves its moment in the spotlight, too.

Here are Five Things to Know about Shine! Theater’s “The Prince of Teeth,” which opens Friday at the Tower Theatre:


It is, indeed, about plaque removal.

The show is an original musical fairy tale about Prince David, a well-meaning fellow who rescues the Princess, but has his proposal of marriage rebuffed because of his terrible teeth, explains tony sanders, artistic director of Shine! Theater. “In order to win the Princess’ hand in marriage, Prince David must first learn how to properly care for his teeth,” says sanders (who does not capitalize his name). “Ultimately, it is a clever, yet whimsical and entertaining, message about dental hygiene.”


It’s a collaboration between Shine! and Theater Seoul.

This unlikely partnership got its start when Theater Seoul visited Fresno with its production of “Choon-Hyang (True Love),” another musical fairytale.


“Their host, Valerie Salcedo, contacted me and I extended a request for the two troupes together,” sanders says. “We were hoping for a combined master class with an artistic cultural exchange of sorts. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work but they remembered our offer and reached out the following year.”

The result is the Fresno premiere of “The Prince of Teeth.”

There are also future productions in the works. In February, the two companies will combine student talents and produce “Pyeonggang and Ondal (The Princess and the Fool).” In 2020, the goal is for Shine! to travel to Seoul for a third collaboration.


“Prince of Teeth” is a hybrid of Korean and American cultures.

“At the outset, the piece is uniquely Korean in tone and style,” sanders says. “However, the production is told in English. Also, the choreography blends a myriad of styles: traditional Korean dance, American hip-hop, and martial arts. The costume and set elements are beautifully crafted with vibrant coloring and a playful attitude.”


Look for characters “throwing up” K-pop band signs.

The musical style is all the rage right now all the rage in South Korea right now, and its popularity is growing worldwide.


If you go and you’re a kid, you get a toothbrush.

“We have been blessed to receive sponsorship from a few local dental offices,” sanders says, “and they have graciously provided goodie bags for our younger audience members.”

Show info

“The Prince of Teeth,” 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Tower Theatre. Tickets are $15-$17.50 adults, $12.50-$15 students and seniors.

Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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