SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES had two successful productions this past year: McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ and La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, where it was extended due to popular demand. This spring, we are continuing to work on the show with our collaborators, as we continue our slow trundle toward New York, all fingers and toes crossed…and will take a break on March 16 in order to perform a concert of the score at the beautiful Wolf Trap Barns in Vienna, VA.
Here is a video trailer from McCarter (where the show ran in 2011):
And here is a lovely 5-minute “making of” video:
From the La Jolla website – critic and audience responses:
“Playhouse’s savvy retelling of fairy tale brims with winning songs, performances.”
- The San Diego Union-Tribune
“An absolute spark”
-La Jolla Light
“The inherent charm of the piece captivates our imagination”
“It whisks a classic fairy tale to a modern day locale that freely mixes medical science with pixie dust.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Sweet-spirited update of the classic fairy tale”
“Inventive and expertly produced”
-North County Times
From social media fans:
“What an impressive show and performance…destined to be a BIG SUCCESS.” ~James N. via Facebook
“The music and staging were awesome and the actors were INCREDIBLE! … An added plus was seeing the music director “rocking out” in the pit while playing. ~BobCat H via Facebook
“Literally the best all-around production I’ve seen! Thanks for giving me more reasons to sing in the shower ~Kat C. via Facebook
“Was completely blown away by #SleepingBeautyWakes…Go See This!” ~@Cyndi_Morrison via Twitter
“Much applause to @ljplayhouse for a fabulous musical production. Chills throughout the entire performance!” ~@kristinaolani via Twitter
“A hit! Standing O! Terrific cast, vocals, music! No sleeping in our seats!” ~@DramaMamaSuzRN via Twitter
“The best musical I’ve seen in a long time! The sets, staging, music, actors and voices are all incredible!!! If you live in San Diego don’t miss it!!!” ~xander208 via YouTube
History of the show:
In 2006, Deaf West Theatre commissioned Brendan and Val, along with our STRIKING 12 collaborator Rachel Sheinkin, to adapt another fairy tale for the stage. Rachel very wisely turned down our first idea (“how about Rumpelstiltskin? We could call it RUMP! The Musical…”), and suggested a SLEEPING BEAUTY, set in a modern-day sleep disorder clinic. We leapt at this wonderfully wacky idea, and had a fascinating time not only researching sleep disorders like narcolepsy and restless legs, but also learning a little bit of American Sign Language – because this original production was a bilingual one, in the tradition of Deaf West’s acclaimed Broadway version of BIG RIVER.
The show went on in the spring of 2007 in Los Angeles, and was a hit at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, directed by the wonderful Jeff Calhoun. We were delighted to win the Ovation Award for World Premiere Musical, as well as a Best Musical Direction award for Brendan, and a Best Lead Actress nomination for Val! Check out some info, photos and more here.
Our third PS Classics release (spring 2009) is a collection of songs from SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES, as they existed at that time. Check it out here; we are incredibly proud of this record, and think it’s our best work to date. GrooveLily continues to do concerts of these songs whenever we can.
Meanwhile, as we move forward with the full theatrical version of the show, Brendan has blogged about the process of putting together this production, in which we are ONLY writers, not onstage at all. Interestingly, we think the process of having put out our CD of the score as it was in 2009 has made us feel freer/more liberated in making changes, and letting go of songs we love that don’t necessarily fit into the piece anymore.