Thursday, June 16, 2011

Theatre: Sleeping Beauty Wakes


From the Sleeping Beauty Wakes website:

McCarter Theatre is proud to announce complete casting and creative team for Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a new musical featuring abook by Rachel Sheinkin (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and a score by composer Brendan Milburn and lyricist Valerie Vigoda, both of the acclaimed trio GrooveLily. The production, which runs from April 29 through June 5, will be directed by Rebecca Taichman, who delighted McCarter audiences with her 2009 production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Opening Night is set for Friday, May 6. Following the McCarter run, the production will move to La Jolla Playhouse.

In Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a young beauty is brought to a sleep disorder clinic, and soon all the patients find themselves sharing a familiar dream. The show reunites two members of the acclaimed rock trio GrooveLily – Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda – with Tony Award-winning librettist Rachel Sheinkin, who last collaborated on the inventive holiday tale Striking 12. With beguiling characters, hypnotic lyrics, and a rocking score, Sleeping Beauty Wakes delves into the magical space between dreaming and waking in an unexpected twist on a classic tale.

And a trailer:

And a review from 'Sleeping Beauty Wakes': A Fairy Tale, Updated Without Ambien by CHARLES ISHERWOOD at The New York Times:

Chronic insomniacs may well view the heroine of “Sleeping Beauty Wakes,” a new musical at the McCarter Theater Center here, with a ravenous envy. She’s been dozing peacefully for almost a millennium, without so much as a milligram of pharmaceutical assistance. As in the original fairy tale, tweaked in this modern update, when she emerges from that long slumber she finds herself staring into the eyes of a love-struck swain, not groping for coffee to dispel the dim haze of an Ambien hangover.

Nevertheless, happily ever after does not come without a few major hurdles for Rose (Aspen Vincent), who finds herself bewildered upon waking in the sleep-disorder clinic where this inventive and good-natured but innocuous musical is set. Having been supine for about 900 years, Rose isn’t particularly ambulatory, and the confusions of her new world leave her gaping.

“I don’t understand half the words you say,” she mournfully tells the doctor who’s performing basic tests with exotic objects called a flashlight and a stethoscope. Instead of a polished prince, her savior is a hospital orderly, Mike (Bryce Ryness), with some challenging afflictions of his own, namely a neuropathological combo plate of narcolepsy and cataplexy that has him tumbling to the floor unconscious whenever he feels a surge of happiness. (Go to the NYT site to read the full review.)

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