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We’ve begun a new yearly tradition of attending a special sneak preview of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s holiday family etcproduction and it’s become one of my favorite holiday events!  Any chance I get to get my kids exploring theater (especially musical theater, which is my absolutely favorite and closest to my heart) I jump on the chance.  Seeing a well acted and executed production in an intimate theater setting, to me, is the perfect way to introduce your children to the magic of the theater, and ETC has all of this and more.

In the past we’ve seen ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, ‘Alice in Wonderland‘, and ‘Snow White’ and have fallen in love with the theatre, the cast, and the magic of ETC.  This year we were blessed to be invited to the sneak peek of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and it was every bit as entertaining, well acted, and beautiful as anything we’ve seen there before!

As with all of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati‘s production, they tell the tale in their own way…each time with their own special twist.  The characters are familiar enough, we’ve all seen the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty and many of us have seen the new live-action Maleficent as well, but this tale sticks closer to the original fairytale offered by The Brothers Grimm than what we’ve all come to know:

Romance, comedy, action, rock n’ roll, and opera—this magical, musical version of Sleeping Beauty has it all! Meet Briar Rose, her overprotective parents, three wacky fairies (and a wicked one), and a dragon with an attitude as our contemporary twist on the classic tale returns to Ensemble’s stage. From the creators of Cinderella and Snow White, this enchanted and memorable musical will delight audiences of all ages this holiday season.

Those three wacky fairies – Marigold, Daisy, and Lilac – are simply delightful!  Their voices meld together so well thatWisteria it is truly a delight to listen as they tell the tale of Briar Rose and all that befalls her.  This being a musical instead of a simple play was a definite twist my boys did not see coming, but they really enjoyed it.  Perennial favorite, Deb Girdler, makes an amazing wicked fairy – Wisteria – and always manages to surprise us with her amazing performance.  From the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, to the evil fairy of Sleeping Beauty, Ms. Girdler is someone my family and I look forward to seeing perform every chance we get.

FalconMy boys, however, have another favorite…Michael G. Bath.  In Sleeping Beauty he plays Wisteria’s henchman, the Falcon, and my kids absolutely revel in his mischievous nature and witty, wicked jokes.  Every single cast member gave their all to this performance, and my boys and I truly enjoyed every minute of it, as did my mom and nieces who attended the performance with us.

If you are looking for a way to introduce your kids to musical theater, or you just want to enjoy a fun outing with your family, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is perfect!

Sleeping Beauty runs December 3, 2014-January 4, 2015. Fridays at 7pm; Sat. and select weeknight shows at 2 PM and 7 PM; Sundays at 2 PM and 6 PM. No performances on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. A complete calendar is available at www.ensemblecincinnati.orgTickets for Sleeping Beauty range from $28 to $44 for adults and $18 for children.

disclaimer:  I was invited to attend a sneak preview performance, tickets provided by Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.  All opinions are my own.