‘Sleeping Beauty Dreams’ at The Kennedy Center by Flora Scott

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Sleeping Beauty Dreams, a puppet show performed by Marionetas de la Esquina of Mexico, at The Kennedy Center’s Family Theater is a true treat for the little and big ones alike. It’s a delightful adaptation of the version of Sleeping Beauty we all grew up with, told from the point of view of a child’s parents telling him a bedtime story of how they met.

'Sleeping Beauty Dreams.' Photo by Carol Pratt 2013.
‘Sleeping Beauty Dreams.’ Photo by Carol Pratt 2013.

Dario  Alvarez (Dad) was puppeteer to Frog, Fairy, and King, while Amaranta Leyva (Mom) manipulated her younger self – Princess and also Fairy. Jose Luis Juarez, as with all the rest, wore all black while manipulating the character of Mateo (Dad’s younger self). Priscilla Morales also manipulated Mateo in ‘Dreams’ and Jose Mariano Luyva was Mateo’s Voice in ‘Dreams and Sun.’ At times there were two, possibly three sets of hands working a single puppet to maneuver its delicate and lifelike movements. Priscila Morales (Queen) and Laura Hernandez (Octavia) were the puppet children’s Mothers.

Mom and Dad were the only two puppeteers on stage in character and costume and it was wonderful fun to watch their characters tell their stories, but even more thrilling was to witness the passion and love they visibly felt for their puppets as they worked them and gave them their voices. And although it wasn’t displayed as readily as the aforementioned, the “silent” puppeteers too gave great enthusiasm and life to the puppets and story which kept the little ones enthralled

The creative team included a simple and sweet set and costume design by Edyta Rzewuska. Designed by Lucio Espindola, the puppets are creations of minuscule detail that culminate into exquisite works of art. They are enchanting. So much so that I found myself wishing I could see them better. Lighting was done by Emiliano Leyva and there was an original musical score by Simon Bellefleur.

'Sleeping Beauty Dreams.' Photo by Carol Pratt 2013.
‘Sleeping Beauty Dreams.’ Photo by Carol Pratt 2013.

Sleeping Beauty Dreams was a fantastical magical escapade for any and all who had the pleasure to be sitting in the audience. I’m sorry if you missed it.

Running Time: 60 minutes, with no intermission.

Sleeping Beauty Dreams played on February 16-17, 2013 at The Kennedy Center’s Family Theater – 2700 F Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For more information on future Kennedy Center events, visit their website.