By Erika Brown Thomas
The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale has long been a favorite for children and The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences musical production proves to be no exception.
With audience interactive sequences and comical twists on stereotypical characters, Marc Robin’s Sleeping Beauty sweetly centers itself around a curious princess and an allergic and anxiety-ridden prince.
Elizabeth Telford plays the title character with charm and vivacity. Her voice easily lends itself to the “Disneyesque” musical score. Princess Amber is a princess in control of her own destiny – or at least as much as a princess who has been cursed with the gift of curiosity can be . . .
Prince Hunter (Garrett Lutz) is everything but what his name professes him to be. Definitely not a hunter or anywhere near the typical “masculine” prince, Lutz awkwardly wheezes and sneezes his way into the heart of the audience. His fumbling for words and pathetic attempts to rescue Princess Amber even require some active encouragement from the audience.
And this tale would not be complete without the trio of concerned fairies. Sharrissee Hamilton, Cassie Slater and Danni Smith portray the magical friends Marigold, Periwinkle and Ruby. Slater in particular gives a standout performance as she sends out a frenetic and funny energy anytime she sets foot on stage.
The villainess Magenta (Megan Murphy) plies the descendants of her enemy with evil plots of revenge and ruin. Murphy commands the stage with a prowess befitting any sorceress worth her dastardly salt, implementing her costume’s long sleeves with flair at every opportunity.
Steven Strafford and William Angulo complete the cast as King Lapis and Topaz (a bilingual and ancient woodland sprite) and also end up being part of the pièce de résistance . . . an amazing, very large dragon.
The minimal set and sparkling costumes create a flowery and fantastical world that is only detracted from when one takes in the drab and dirty laundry that remains hanging above and around the stage – accoutrements of the concurrent show at The Marriott, Newsies.
As always, The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences has put together a strong production that families will enjoy seeing together – make sure to put it on your holiday calendar!
Marriott Theatre presents “Sleeping Beauty” Wednesdays – Sundays at 10 am with occasional performances at 12:30 pm, through December 30, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. More information and tickets are available here.