Moms. Dads. Here's your morning checklist â€” kid, camera, costume and tickets. The tickets are for Glendale Centre Theatre's children's musical, â€œSleeping Beauty,â€ which runs every Saturday through June 27. The costume is for the kid to wear to the show. The camera is for the great photos you'll take with the sweet, funny, kid-friendly cast members after the show.
And, you might as well dress up in your own prince or princess outfit. You'll be treated like royalty no matter what you wear.
If you're a grown up, you already know the basic story. If given the choice of spending your Saturday morning asleep with the bedroom door locked, or going to see a theatrical version of â€œSleeping Beautyâ€ geared for children ages 3 through 8, you might roll over and close your eyes with a big smile on your face.
More likely, you're the kind of parent who understands something else that's basic â€” Family First. And the Glendale Centre Theatre understands that, too.
In playwright Tom Robinson's version, there's no mistaking who's the Baddest Fairy in the world â€” her name gives it all away. Fairy Meany (Angela Raile) interrupts her mayhem-planning to ask herself, â€œWhy am I so mean?â€ and happily supplies her own answer â€” â€œThat's the way I am!â€
Luckily, there are four (not three) color-coordinated Good Fairies, ready and willing to give little Princess Rosamunda some very nifty gifts to counteract Meany's random acts of terror. Best of all, one of the Good Fairies, little level-headed Dewdrop who saves her wishes for last, is played by a real child â€” the delightful Elise Gibney.
As the grown-up Princess Rosamunda, Samantha Claire is a singing, dancing charmer, who gives to the poor and returns her library books on time. The first act might be a little slow, what with all those explanations about spindles and everyone in the castle falling asleep for a hundred years, etc.
Director Erin Villaverde has done a great job of putting together a lovely cast of young and seasoned pros, even if she's occasionally hampered by a script that spends more time on talking than on doing.
The second act is faster and funnier. It starts out as a â€œBuddyâ€ story about Prince True (Patrick McMahon, looking very funny with his tongue firmly in his cheek) and his talking horse Fantasy (the equally silly Jordan Byers), invariably introduced as â€œMy horse and best friend.â€
Then there's Prince True's possessive Queen Mum (the always wonderful Tosca Minotto) and a talking Dragon (Christopher Gomez doing everything Jack Black would do, and doing it just as well). And, since this is a Fairy Tale, one smooch at the end is all it takes to make everything right. But wait. There's more. Out in the lobby, the cast members are all smiles as they greet their adoring public. Did you bring the camera?
?MARY BURKIN is a Burbank actress and playwright and Glendale lawyer.