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Sleeping Beauty

May 24, 2018
Jamie Davis Smith
7300 MacArthur Boulevard
Glen Echo, MD 20812
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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.”  
The scenery and detailed puppets in Sleeping Beauty create a magical experience for children.    There are plenty of jokes interspersed throughout the show for kids and adults alike. Due to some unexpected twists on the original fairy tale there is even plenty of suspense, even though we all know how the play will end.  
When the show ended my son asked for more puppets.  When I told him the show was over he then asked for “just a little tiny bit more” so it’s safe to say he loved Sleeping Beauty and the show could have held his attention even if it had gone on for another hour.  
Sleeping Beauty is recommended for ages 3.5 - 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 11:00 and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 and 1:00.  
The show runs approximately 45 minutes, making it manageable for families that include young children.  Tickets are $12.00 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 at http://www.thepuppetco.org, by calling (301) 634-5380, or at the box office.   
There is plenty of free parking at Glen Echo, but be sure to allot about ten minutes to walk from the parking lot to the theatre.  The path from the parking lot to the theater is completely 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 and carousel before or after the show.  New this year is that there is a scavenger hunt list available at the carousel and any child who completes the hunt earns two free carousel tickets.
Sleeping Beauty runs through June 24th.    
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!

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