Parkrose High’s fast-paced ‘Sleeping Beauty’ packs loads of laughs

See why everyone in the family will find this lively, colorful production of Sleeping Beauty lots of fun …

At the technical controls in the Parkrose High School Theater are Juneau Singleton on the lighting board and Miranda Schwabauer running the sound gear.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
At opening night of Parkrose High School’s production of Sleeping Beauty on May 3, the audience might have been expecting a “warmed over” rehash of the 1959 Walt Disney animated motion picture.

Instead, adults and kids were treated to an energetic and colorful retelling of the centuries-old fairy tale – from a new point of view!

The story begins, revealed by the “older” version of fairy Goldy (played by Dawn Parsons), who is surprised by visitors to the Forest.

Other Forest fairies (not all of them seen here, but including Mae Hodge, Sierra Smith, Tiffany Parson, Jamie Crocker, Savannah Hawes and Selba Tamraker) are all a-twitter, watching Goldy attempt to work her magic.

This play, written by Rufus Norris for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and later presented by the London’s National Theater, features physical comedy and running gags reminiscent of a Mel Brooks production!

About the story
“The story is told by a sweet-but-bumbling fairy named Goldy, who accidently puts a curse on King and Queen Beauty’s daughter,” explained show director, and Parkrose High theater arts instructor, Ms. Zena.

King Beauty (Shane Casley) and Queen Beauty (Llake Anderson) ask the younger Goldy (Mary Markham) to help them have a baby – with the promise she’d be invited to the castle when their girl was born, a promise not kept.

The curse isn’t evident as Princess Beauty grows up – and reaches the eve of her 16th birthday.

Goody’s curse takes effect. Queen Beauty looks on as Sleeping Beauty settles in for a long, long snooze.

Goldy searches high and low for a prince, whose kiss will awaken Sleeping Beauty. When she finds a suitor, he seems more interested in adventure than in romance with a real princess.

Complicating matters is that the mother of the prince would love to have Sleeping Beauty and her babies over for dinner – literally. Perhaps served with crème sauce!

  • Can Goody find a handsome prince to awaken Sleeping Beauty?
  • Why does Sleeping Beauty’s beau keep her from meeting his family?
  • Will the prince, Sleeping Beauty, and her babies escape the cruel ogres?

Catch one of the two final shows next week, and find out!

Could this howling creature from “Castle Ogress Charming” (Kali Onderdonk) really be carrying the baby who will eventually grow to become the prince whom Goldy is looking?

Time passes, and eventually the ogress’ Prince Charming (Justin Wright) grows into a rugged young man, ready to conquer beasts in the wilderness.

About the production
“We chose this play,” Zena said, “because we wanted to present a somewhat comedic, fun, family-friendly show.”

Although the show is a much lighter theater fare than their production of Macbeth last year, Zena commented, it offers many challenging roles for the student actors.

“This story has good depth to it. It’s a bit of a romantic comedy, without being too romantic,” Zena added.

She has enjoyed working with the cast of 35 student actors, Zena mentioned – many of whom are new to the stage. “This show features a lot of fresh faces. This show features many freshmen and sophomores in better roles. They are really growing into their parts, taking risks and nurturing as actors.”

While all still fast asleep in Beauty Castle, Goldy helps the Prince to gain entrance, and – against his better judgment – to kiss Sleeping Beauty.

After working for decades to unite Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming, it appears if Goody’s efforts to “reclaim her wings” by “doing good” is about to unravel.

A proficient stage crew of 20 theater craft students keeps the production seamlessly transitioning from one scene to another.

Sleeping Beauty continues May 10 and 11
Enjoy this comical and romantic retelling of a timeless story that includes fairies, ogres, kings, and queens – and is filled with action and romance.

The last two performances of the show are on May 10 and 11. Curtain time for both performances is 7:00 p.m.

  • This delightful play is appropriate for all ages.

Tickets are available at the door only, and are just $8 for adults – $5 for 18 and under, or Seniors 65+. It’s at the Parkrose High School Theater at 12003 NE Shaver Street, just off NE 122nd Avenue.

Take a bow! The cast of Sleeping Beauty enjoys the applause of the audience.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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