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Sleeping Beauty

Musical numbers: "Long Ago and Far Away," "Here Am I," "Who," "My Husband's First Wife," "They Didn't Believe Me," "Vicious and Mean," "Don't Ever Leave Me, " "I've Got to Dance," "Look for the Silver Lining," "Sunny," "You're Here and I'm Here," "Ain't It a Grand and Glorious Feeling," "Spinning a Bow," "Till the Clouds Roll By," "Didn't You Believe."

With:
Cast: Emily Loesser (Sunny), Georgia Engel (Mme. Sophie/Fairy Godmother), Marcia Lewis (Francine/WickedWitch), Joneal Joplin (King Leo), Lee Roy Reams (King Oscar), Lewis Cleale (Maxwell), Ray Fournie (Quinton), Don Stephenson (Tommy), Rich Pisarkiewicz (Barry), Chance Harmon and Timothy Dunn (Wendell the Cow), etc.

Musical numbers: “Long Ago and Far Away,” “Here Am I,” “Who,” “My Husband’s First Wife,” “They Didn’t Believe Me,” “Vicious and Mean,” “Don’t Ever Leave Me, ” “I’ve Got to Dance,” “Look for the Silver Lining,” “Sunny,” “You’re Here and I’m Here,” “Ain’t It a Grand and Glorious Feeling,” “Spinning a Bow,” “Till the Clouds Roll By,” “Didn’t You Believe.”

Paul Blake, the Muny Theater’s executive producer, has stitched together a “Sleeping Beauty” from 15 Jerome Kern songs, with new lyrics for a couple of them and a new book based vaguely on the children’s fairy tale. Set in 1631, the musical includes some competent performers and delightful moments, though Blake’s book falls into a deadly no man’s land far above the youngsters, far below the adults and not funny to either.

Marcia Lewis, sparklingly evil as a witch, steals the show with the ease of an experienced pickpocket. “If you can’t hide it, decorate it,” she yells gleefully, bounding across the stage, and then, in Blake’s finest moment, happily losing her heart to a man who is kind to her. Lewis also gets to sing “Vicious and Mean,” which includes the winning line “I fill my pots with munchy, crunchy tots.”

Another bright spot is Wendell the Cow, with Chance Harmon and Timothy Dunn as the inside guys and Muny veteran Ken Page as the offstage voice. Emily Loesser, the daughter of the composer, is a charming heroine, even if her sleep doesn’t amount to more than a brief nap.

As a strolling player and fairy godmother, Georgia Engel was not always sure of her lines at the reviewed perf. Lewis Cleale is wooden as the handsome prince in mufti, but Lee Roy Reams shines as a visiting king.

Sleeping Beauty

Production: ST. LOUIS A Municipal Theater Assn. (The Muny) presentation of a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach , P.G. Wodehouse and Ira Gershwin, book and additional lyrics by Paul Blake. Directed by Blake, musical direction by Michael Horsley, choreography by Gemze deLappe, orchestrations by Mike Judy, Lloyd Wells, Mike Burns and Douglas Besterman, vocal arrangements by Hugh Martin.

Crew: Sets, Gordon Jules Micunis; costumes, Robert Fletcher; lighting, Martin Aronstein; sound, Karen Zabinski; production stage manager, Eric S. Millner. Opened, reviewed July 15, 1996, at the Municipal Theater; 11,746 seats; $ 40 top. Running time: 2 HOURS.

With: Cast: Emily Loesser (Sunny), Georgia Engel (Mme. Sophie/Fairy Godmother), Marcia Lewis (Francine/WickedWitch), Joneal Joplin (King Leo), Lee Roy Reams (King Oscar), Lewis Cleale (Maxwell), Ray Fournie (Quinton), Don Stephenson (Tommy), Rich Pisarkiewicz (Barry), Chance Harmon and Timothy Dunn (Wendell the Cow), etc.

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