It’s never too early to introduce children to the magical world of theater and Forest Grove’s CAST Playhouse proves this at Theatre in the Grove with their absurdly charming “Sleeping Beauty Kids,” a 45-minute adaptation of Disney’s movie take on the classic fairy tale.

We could not take our eyes off the stage last Saturday as 23 kids from five to 12 brought the love story of Princess Aurora and Prince Philip to life.

Director Ashli Zijdemans’ dedication shines through the enthusiasm and energy of her cast.

Wendy Upton portrays the aptly named witch, Maleficent, with a flamboyant and all-pervading wickedness well beyond her years.

King Stefan and Queen Stefanie (Madison Brandenburg and Sara McVean) are properly regal, keeping a stiff upper lip as they face the heartbreaking decision to send away their newborn in order to protect her from Maleficent’s curse.

The three fairies entrusted with Aurora’s safety deliver many of the show’s funniest moments, particularly the hilariously feisty Merryweather (Luella Harrelson).

Abby Cogswell (Princess Aurora) and Kiran Bourget Snyder (Prince Phillip) are a wonderful match — Aurora beautiful, naive, and sheltered but immediately drawn to the handsome and worldly prince in disguise.

The fairies in training, forest animals, and Maleficent’s goons all provide strong choral support, and the goons are uninhibitedly energetic throughout.

The show runs one more weekend, and we strongly recommend that you take your kids, grandkids, or anyone who’s young at heart to see it.

A longer version of this review can be found online at

Contract Publishing

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