|Alex Goodrich and Summer Naomi Smart in Marc Robin’s SLEEPING BEAUTY, at The Marriott Theatre For Young Audiences, Photo Credit: PETER COOMBS and THE MARRIOTT THEATRE|
Before any of you Disney naysayers start rolling your eyes, let me tell you… this ain’t no Disney Princess. The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is now featuring Sleeping Beauty through August 18th. Trust me, there’s plenty for girls, boys, and jaded adults alike to enjoy.
The Marriott Theatre is located within the sprawling, manicured grounds of the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort. The theatre itself, while capable of seating nearly 900 spectators, has an intimate feel owing to the fact that it is a theatre-in-the-round. Not only does this make every seat a great seat, but it helped my crowd-shy toddler feel less overwhelmed. It also offers great views and interaction with the cast as the characters frequently run up and down the aisles and interact with the children while doing so.
|Cast of Sleeping Beauty in Marc Robin’s SLEEPING BEAUTY, at The Marriott Theatre For Young Audiences, Photo Credit: PETER COOMBS and THE MARRIOTT THEATRE|
The story of Sleeping Beauty told here is a modern retelling of the classic Grimm fairy tale. Our Princess Amber is no shrinking violet, but a spunky tomboy who would rather climb trees than practice her poise. Our Prince Hunter is as awkward as he is lovable. He calls on the help of the audience to overcome his fears so he can rescue the princess. Yes the prince rescues the princess, but since her own bravery inspires the reluctant hero, in a way, Sleeping Beauty rescues her prince just as much as he rescues her. In addition to overcoming your fears, the play also teaches young children to be themselves, how to solve problems without violence, and how to forgive.
|Summer Naomi Smart as Princess Amber in Marc Robin’s SLEEPING BEAUTY, at The Marriott Theatre For Young Audiences, Photo Credit: PETER COOMBS and THE MARRIOTT THEATRE|
Children’s theatre performances are always interactive. The actors enter and exit through the aisles and address the audience throughout the performance. Afterwards, they even take time for a Q&A session.
I attended with my almost-4-year-old son and almost-2-year-old daughter. While my little boy isn’t necessarily averse to princesses, tutus, and glitter he mostly enjoyed the slapstick humor as well as a dragon that appears in a few scenes. The dragon is a giant puppet manipulated by three performers and is very impressive, but might be scary to more sensitive children. My glitter and tutu obsessed daughter enjoyed the colorful fairy costumes. The one-hour running time was just long enough to keep short attention spans engaged.
Overall, we were pleased with our first foray into children’s theatre and with the quality of the performances at the Marriott Theatre, we may even be back for their next show, Cinderella, November 17th-December 31st.