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'The Princess and the Pea' at the Marriott Theatre

From the Kingdom of Ipslonia comes The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences’ first show of the season, Princess and the Pea. Scott Weinstein makes his Marriott Theatre directorial debut, joined by Musical Director Ryan T. Nelson.It’s a modern spin on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. An imaginative story for all ages, this family friendly play is a celebration of everlasting love and staying true to oneself no matter what the circumstances.

Synopsis: When Prince Wellington (Jeff Award winner Alex Goodrich) is forced into choosing a bride by his mother, Queen Evermean (Jeff Award winner Susan Moniz), all the princesses in the land line up to pass the “Princess Test.” Trouble arises when the Prince falls in love with a commoner, Ruth (Jeff Award nominee Dara Cameron), instead of a “true” princess! To satisfy the Queen, Ruth must prove her worth by passing her own test, which requires her to sleep on a giant stack of mattresses piled on top of a single pea. If she endures a sleepless night due to the pea – of which she has no knowledge – she must be sensitive enough to be a real princess!

Although I was not able to attend the press opening, I left the job in 4 very capable hands. My sister Casey and her 6 year old daughter Hayden, and Casey’s SIL, Pam and her 3 year old daughter Olivia. Here are their thoughts:

Casey: The play is very entertaining for both kids and adults. I laughed a lot because the humor was aimed at adults and kids. In fact, I heard as many adults laughing as kids.

Hayden: The actors were really funny.

Casey: Terrific use of the stage. Marriott theatre for Young Adults is round, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house and the actors knew how to move around the stage and play all angles.

Pam and Olivia: It was a nice blend of a classic story (I’m glad they didn’t mess with the central plot) but updated for modern times with the use of TVs for the “live news updates” throughout the show.

Hayden: the TV’s were cool.

Pam and Olivia: Terrific use of stage props and costumes, creating a real sense of character, as if you’d entered another world – the tree in the forest and the “fog” really excited Olivia. She liked the “storm scene” and all of the effects. I’m not sure she totally followed the princess contest but there were enough effects to keep her watching. A balance of dialogue and singing helped.

Pam and Olivia: our favorite part was when the prince was in the forest lost, as was Ruth, and kept missing each other until they “found” each other – romantic! I also enjoyed that the show was an hour long, perfect and the maximum viewing for a 3 year old!All in all, such a great show.