Sleeping Ugly--The Musical | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Sleeping Ugly--The Musical 

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Griffin Theatre Company's first musical takes its cue from the "Once Upon a Mattress" school of fairy-tale deconstruction, adapting Jane Yolen's kids' book about a miserable princess, a good-hearted plain Jane, and a grumpy fairy godmother. Librettist William Massolia and lyricist-composer George Howe offer a sprightly reworking, and though the message--inner beauty is what counts--isn't groundbreaking, the ensemble has a ball with the loopy material. Colleen McSherry is suitably hateful as the snooty princess, Jill Hames is a brassy godmother, and Matthew Lon Walker's Toad (wearing Bill Morey's clever goggle-eyed, paunch-bellied costume) narrates with aplomb. Richard Barletta's staging spins its wheels in the last couple of numbers, but it's still solid family-friendly entertainment. Through 6/25: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2:30 and 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $24.

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