Sleeping Beauty fans will recognize all of the elements of the classic fairytale in this rendition, but in typical Puppet Co. Theatre style there are some unique twists that make their version a little more entertaining and keep the story fresh.
The Puppet Co. Theatre’s version of Sleeping Beauty opens with a handsome storyteller who loves stories that end with “happily ever after.” After a quarrel with Fairy 13 the handsome storyteller is condemned to be a frog who can never utter those words again.
Fairy 12 swoops in to make sure that he will eventually return to human form. When a princess is born in the Kingdom, the King decides not to invite the vindictive Fairy 13 to a party to celebrate the birth of the princess because he melted down the golden plate she would have used to make a new crown.
Just as in the classic fairytale, Fairy 13 condemns the princess to die on her 16th birthday after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. Fairy 12 downgrades the curse to a 100 year sleep. The storytelling frog waits out the 100 years growing old and scaring eligible princes who come to see the princess.
After 100 years have passed a prince who is not deterred arrives on a flying unicycle and wakes the princess. The frog turns back into a handsome man and is able to turn another frog into a beautiful lady with a kiss, just as he regains his long-lost ability to say “happily ever after.”
Sleeping Beauty is recommended for ages 3.5 to 10. My three year old loved the show and plenty of older children in the audience at the show we attended were obviously enjoying themselves as well. If you go, the Puppet Co. Playhouse is located in Glen Echo Park. Sleeping Beauty plays on Thursdays and Fridays at 10:00 and 11:30am and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am and 1:00pm.
The show runs approximately 45 minutes, making it manageable for families that include young children. Tickets are $10.00 for everyone two and up. There are discounts for group sales and a trip to the Puppet Co. makes a great outing for a playgroup. Tickets can be purchased by online with no ticketing fees, by calling (301) 634-5380, or at the box office. For procrastinators, be aware that online ticket sales end one hour and fifteen minutes before show time.
There is plenty of free parking at Glen Echo, but be sure to allot five to ten minutes to walk from the parking lot to the theatre. The path from the parking lot to the theater is mostly flat and stroller-friendly. There is a designated place to leave strollers just outside the theatre door. Doors open fifteen minutes before the show begins.
Seating is general admission with seating for children available on the floor and some benches available for adults in the back and along the perimeter where children are allowed to sit on grown-ups laps. There is limited space available for caregivers to sit with children on the floor near the front so if you want to sit with your child you should plan on arriving early to be among the first admitted to the theatre. However, there is a great view from the back and plenty of space for caregivers to sit with children is available in the back.
There are two live feed monitors in the lobby so you will not miss any of the show if you need to step out with your child for a moment. Sleeping Beauty and the frog (along with their puppeteers) greet children as they exit the theatre and are available for photos. If you see Sleeping Beauty on a nice day be sure to take advantage of Glen Echo’s playground before or after the show.
Sleeping Beauty runs through March 23rd and there will be an ASL-interpreted show on March 9th.
The Puppet Co. Theater was designed with kids in mind and the performers and staff always ensure kids are comfortable and having a good time. Sleeping Beauty delivers!Photo by Jamie Davis Smith.