“Hear ye, hear ye…Prince Wellington is seeking a bride.” The classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen comes to life in a new musical The Princess and the Pea at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences. This one-hour musical adaption of the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen will be running from now until April 19th for all the princesses and princes in Lake County.
In this modern twist on a classic fairytale, the local maidens and princess partake in a reality-style game show to win the prince’s hand in marriage. Queen Evermean has created this “Princess Test” to find the prince the perfect bride, which she has already decided is going the be Princess Buffy.
Of course, the Prince has no interest in having a bride picked for him, he wants to marry for love. He tries to escape the castle, meets his true love and ends up…back at the castle in the middle of the Princess Test.
After a song, some dancing and a lot of laughter the audience will see if the common girl Ruth can beat Buffy against the odds and pass the princess test. It’s a wonderful story of staying true to who you are and not letting others tell you who you are supposed to be.
While obviously a love story the romance is minimal, one kiss, and kids will enjoy the lively numbers and fast-paced show. Queen Evermean, played by Jenna Coker-Jones, steals the show with her monologues and dramatic exits. Yur kids will be saying tootle-eee-roo-bye-bye every time they leave. The show is kept light and fun with screens placed around the theater broadcasting updates from the local news and weather.
Because the play is put on by the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences it is more interactive and less scary for even the youngest children. The cast members enter and leave the stage, which is centered in the middle of the audience, through the aisles. If you are lucky enough to sit in a seat near an aisle they may interact with you. However, if you are unable to get an aisle seat – no worries! Every seat is a good seat in this intimate theatre in the round.
One of the best parts about the children’s productions at The Marriott is the question and answer session after the show where kids can ask the cast anything, find out how the play worked and even find out if there really was a real pea underneath all of those mattresses! At our performances questions ranged from how long the practice too if the kiss was real.
Don’t let the fact that it is for Young Audiences lead you to believe this is just for small kids. This is truly a family-friendly affair and you should bring your grandma, your cousin, or even your friend. They had jokes throughout the play that were for the adults such as “She is a couple of burgers shy of a Happy Meal”. I would definitely recommend this play for any believer of game shows, lumpy mattresses, and true love.
If you stick around until after the question and answer session, you may run into some of the cast in the hallway.
The Princess and the Pea runs most Wednesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m. with some performances at 12:30 p.m. Visit Marriott Theatre or call (847) 634.0200 for the exact schedule, as show times and dates may vary. Single ticket prices are $17.23 per person (includes fees and taxes). Free parking is available at all shows.
Disclosure: The writer received tickets to the press opening of The Princess and the Pea to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are their own.