Review: Wake Up,
Sleeping Beauty wakes up to interactive theatre
By Byron Toben
The Centaur Theatre has hosted a number of one-time Saturday morning specials aimed at children. Now comes one that theatre aficionados of all ages should try to catch.
The show is called Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty. It does have a sleeping lady, but the audience is invited to devise the happy ending. That ending might not be what the Brothers Grimm had in mind back in 1812. This script is written by Julia Ainsworth who, together with director Rosaruby Kagan, instigated the Live Action Theatre Project Collective. Ms. Ainsworth (Unfit For Bears), a drama teacher and improv theatre fan, and Ms. Kagan (Bunny, Bunny) are well suited for this collaboration.
They have inveigled NDG residents Lise Vigneault and Will Ward to join Leigh Anne Taylor and Elizabeth Yale in the shebang. Ms. Vigneault, a stalwart of many shows at the Théâtre Ste-Catherine, is always intensely funny.
In 1959, Walt Disney’s animated film Sleeping Beauty came out to little acclaim. Since then, it has been re-evaluated as one of his greatest.
Back in 1963, Andy Warhol produced a 5-hour film called Sleep which actually showed his friend sleeping straight thru. I saw it years later and walked out after 20 minutes, as did nine viewers on opening night. It is not known if Valerie Solanas, who shot Warhol in 1968, ever suffered thru Sleep, but if so, that would be mitigating circumstances.
The show is called Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty. It does have a sleeping lady, but the audience is invited to devise the happy ending.
It will be interesting how the children in the audience — or the inner child in the adults — interact to wake up the still youthful looking 100 year old gal. Out of the mouths of babes oft come insights.
Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty appears at the Centaur Theatre on Saturday, November 28 at 10:30 am.
Tickets are $8 (adults), $6 (children 7-12)
Information at 514-288-3161 or centaurtheatre.com/children-s-theatre
Image: courtesy of the Centaur Theatre.
Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club.