Audiences: Get Ready to Boo, Hiss and Clap at TUTS' Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight

John O'Hurley, Garrett Clayton and Jeff Sumner rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight.
John O'Hurley, Garrett Clayton and Jeff Sumner rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight. Photo by Melissa Taylor

According to John O'Hurley, Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight is like the British style of panto theater, designed for families and humor.

"Panto style encourages the kids and the families to interact with the stage. If you want to scream or boo you are certainly welcome. They don't have to sit on their hands lie any other form of theater. They're part of the performance as well. That's what makes it so much fun. That means every show is different," he said.

This panto is, of course, based on the classic tale most of us learned about growing up.

"This is the story of Sleeping Beauty and the knight who wakes her from her trance induced by the evil witch so the same story applies," O'Hurley said.."However it has been updated and contemporized with music that parents will recognize from the '70s, '80s and '90s and also kids today will recognize off the pop charts as well. It has a very modern musical fee. The script has been updated and also colloquialized so that it has a lot of Houstonian references. I'm actually the king of the kingdom of Houston and I'm merging with the king of River Oaks. His son is the prince and he's marrying my daughter Aurora."

Hurley is used to playing Kings — he's been King Arthur in Spamalot several times. "I do like playing the king when the king has a lot of rumples, when he isn't just that myopic, regal character all the time," he said.

So if you're ready to join in, then get yourself over to the Hobby Theater kingdom, courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars, and have a grand panto time.

Performances are scheduled December 12- 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit $48- $142.

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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