The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty, set in 1465, achieves the difficult task of entertaining children and adults equally. Adriane Coros and Kate Barrett’s delightful musical take-off on a children’s classic is saturated with puns and language twists.
Director Pamela Rotta and her family have been intimately involved in the show since its premiere in 2002.
This telling of the tale is more amusing than scary. It opens with three fairies, Daisy (Kara Keyes), Violet (Moriah Melenderez), and Rose (Veronica Rotta), at the curtain introducing the show singing “A Fairy’s Fairytale.” Daisy, the youngest, is ignored by her two older sisters (she’s only 1,000 years old) even though she comes up with solutions to problems. The younger members of the audience loved this.
It is Princess Aurora’s (Noelle Chaanine) birthday. The family, King Ethlered (Alexander Oval) and Queen Emaline (Lauren Turner), and retainers have all kept her away from the dreaded spinning wheels. Alas, evil fairy Hemlock (Gabe Lazard) presents her with one. She spins off to sleep for five hundred years, while she and Hemlock sing a duet, “Spin A Little Dream.” Mrs. Busybum (Daniella Fierro), the head of the household staff, attempts to keep everything under control and almost succeeds.
Act II begins in the hip highly colorful year of 1965. The three lovely fairies open with “Time Goes Marching On.” Christopher (Spencer Beck), a hip young man, is walking his dog when he happens upon the frozen-in-place 1465 castle staff and the princess abed. His attempt to wake her is in vain, however, his dog (Roxanne) licks her hand and her sleep is ended. Well, the dog’s name is Prince!
While Prince doesn’t get Aurora, Christopher does. The Waves (Carson McCalley, Allison Edmonds, Caroline Kvass and Jacob Gardenswartz) sing “Surfboard Baby.” The princess joins The Royals, her new group from the 15th century with “A World Without Walls.” The company tops the charts with “It’s a Groovy Day.”
Rounding out the cast and usually playing more than one role are Dalton Dobey, Chelsea Chenelle, Kaitlyn Baker, Allie Lehr, Micaela Applebaum, and Sofia Gardenswartz.
The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty is fun theatre, a nice Sunday afternoon diversion. Jennifer Kindschi’s costumes were just right. Expect for the royalty, the 15th century dress was drab, which contrasted perfectly with the intense colors of the 20th century. The imaginative script allows a director and choreographer (Juliana Rotta) to stretch their young cast. With a cast of forty, performances vary. Beck commanded the stage. Director Rotta took full advantage of the punderful script ensuring that her cast was very clear on what they were saying.
Alas, this did not carry well into song. This is partly the fault of direction in that, with the exception of Beck and the lovely fairies, the cast did not project their songs beyond the first row. This has been a problem at the playhouse since the rebuilding. There are no monitor speakers on stage, making it almost impossible for a cast to hear their recorded accompaniment . . . a frustration for both audience and cast.
Bring the kids, reserve early for the final weekend, and hope for a front-row seat. The cast’s energy will charge your kids and you’ll enjoy the play on words.
Noelle Chaanine, Spencer Beck, Gabe Lazard, Veronica Rotta, Kara Keyes, Moriah Melendrez, Alexander Oval, Lauren Turner, Daniella Fierro, Carson McCalley, Jacob Gardenswartz, Dalton Dobey, Allison Edmonds, Caroline Kvaas, Chelsea Chenelle, Kaitlyn Baker, Allie Lehr, Micaela Applebaum, Sofia Gardenswartz, Roxanne
Producer Diane Musgrove, Music Director Pamela and Juliana Rotta, Sound Design Steve Murdock, Set Design Rosemary King, Lighting Design Dale Goodman, Costumer Jennifer Kindschi, Hair & Make-up/Dresser Marisa Musgrove, SM Patty Fay, Asst SM Joe Rotta, Props Patty Fay & Diane Musgrove
Author: Adriane Coros and Kate Barrett
Director: Pamela Rotta, Choreographer Juliana Rotta
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2008
Dates: Thursday to Sunday, thru June 29, 2008
Running Time: 85 minutes with a 15-minute intermission
1835 Strand Way
Box Office Phone: 619 435-4856