Ensemble Theatre has established a wonderful annual holiday tradition for families with their musical renditions of fairytales by playwright Joe McDonough and composer David Kisor. The shows are swift and engaging for the kids, with lots of bright colors and simple humor. But they also come with simple moral lessons about love and kindness and loyalty that are meaningful and appreciated by adults — and there's usually a dose or two of jocularity that passes by the kids and appeals to the grownups. That's a tough balance to maintain, but ETC's D. Lynn Meyers and her energetic cast have a great track record for this category of entertainment.
Speaking of the 2009 version of Sleeping Beauty, Meyers says, "“This show is centered around the universal theme of thinking with your heart and takes us from ‘50s Rock & Roll music to a demanding operatic battle. I’m delighted to present a nondenominational celebration of music during the holiday season that everyone can enjoy.” Several ETC regulars are back in familiar roles, including Deb G. Girdler as the evil fairy Wisteria, Michael G. Bath as the smart-mouthed Falcon and Annie Fitzpatrick as Queen Olivia. They'll be joined by two newcomers, CCM musical theater junior Alaina Mills (who wowed audiences in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Carnegie in September) and Will Selnick (a graduate of Northwestern University) make their ETC debuts with this production, she as Briar Rose and he as the Prince who wins her love. $16-$40.
Through Jan. 3. Get showtimes, tickets and find nearby bars and restaurants here.