Theater

Review: ‘Sleeping Beauty’ puts kids and adults on the edge of their seats

Children’s theater is a tough nut to crack.

For a story like “Sleeping Beauty,” now playing at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire as a part of its Theatre for Young Audiences programming, you have to take into account that the audience probably has seen the Disney animated movie and will be comparing the live experience to that film even though it features a completely different script and music.

So, what does that mean? It means you have to stay true to the themes in the classic fairy tale while introducing characters just as vibrant and exciting to watch.

Director and choreographer Scott Weinstein and music director Ryan T. Nelson have done just that.

Marriott’s “Sleeping Beauty” creates a beautiful and exciting fairy tale world in which the beautiful Princess Amber falls victim to a curse by the evil sorceress Magenta, wherein only a true love’s kiss can wake her from an otherwise eternal slumber. The gallant Prince Hunter must battle dragons, scale mountains and traverse the dark sea to save the princess.

Filled with catchy music, impressive dance and all-around fine performances, “Sleeping Beauty” is a gem that both children and adults will cherish.

Marriott Theater consistently produces quality entertainment, and “Sleeping Beauty” continues that legacy.

The show stars Elizabeth Telford as the engaging Princess Amber, Garrett Lutz as the heroic Prince Hunter and Meghan Murphy as the wickedly evil villainess Magenta. Rounding out the cast are Sharriese Hamilton as Marigold, Cassie Slater as Periwinkle, Danni Smith as Ruby, William Carlos Angulo as Topaz and Steven Strafford as King Lapis.

Helping to create the colorful and captivating fairy tale world of “Sleeping Beauty” are sound designer Robert Gilmartin, lighting designer Nick Belley, set and property designer Lauren Nigri and wig designer Kyle Pingel. Supervising the production are lead artistic director Andy Hite and musical supervisor Patti Garwood.

• Rikki Lee Travolta has starred in, directed and choreographed productions throughout the country, including many in McHenry County. He has written two novels and a memoir. He now hosts a weekly musical theater radio program called “It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee” on 101.5 FM, or streaming and through podcasts on www.huntleyradio.com. His website is www.rikkileetravolta.com.

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