‘Sleeping Beauty Dreams’ puppet show at BAM

Maestro of puppets: Mexican marionette show reinvents ‘Sleeping Beauty’

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A theater company that uses puppets on strings to pull at families’ heart strings is putting on a modern-day version of “Sleeping Beauty.”

Marionetas De La Esquina (The Corner Marionettes), a Mexico City-based puppet company, will perform its version of the Grimm classic at the Brooklyn Academy of Music beginning Feb. 1. In addition to familiar fairy-tale elements such as princesses and witches, “Sleeping Beauty Dreams” focuses on modern childhood problems, such as how to deal with overprotective parents.

“We try to take problems that children have today and put them in a fairy tale,” said Amaranta Leyva, who wrote the play for her family-owned and operated company. “It’s about how far we can go without having any freedom for the children.”

The story begins with a queen who cannot have children, so has a daughter with the help of a witch. She keeps the daughter locked in the house until she is eight, when the girl decides it is time to see the world.

The play, which debuted last year at the Kennedy Center, is made up of fantastical characters and multimedia dreamscapes. The marionettes are constructed to move as much like humans as possible and to be operated by just one puppeteer.

The production is truly a family affair — Leyva’s father designs the puppets, her mother directs the play, and her cousin handles the multimedia designs for the nightmares and other hallucinations.

The message of the play, which will be performed separately in both English and Spanish, is intended to speak to elementary school-aged children, but the beauty of the show can be appreciated by all ages, said artists manager Robin Klinger.

“It’s a nice take on a fairy tale from a Mexican point of view,” said Kilinger. “And it’s coming from a nicer place than the old fairy tale. They are not trying to kill anybody.”

“Sleeping Beauty Dreams” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Fisher, [321 Ashland Pl. between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. Feb 1–2 and Feb. 8 at 11 am and 3 pm (Feb. 1, 3 pm performance will be in Spanish). $12.

Posted 12:00 am, January 30, 2014
Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
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