Review of Sleeping Beauty from Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre

Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre is reintroducing fairy tales, giving a fresh, audio-only perspective on old stories we may think we know. S...

Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre is reintroducing fairy tales, giving a fresh, audio-only perspective on old stories we may think we know. Sleeping Beauty is another example of a classic story retold in a fun and engaging way by the excellent team at Voices in the Wind. This is an entertaining and fun take on Sleeping Beauty that the whole family can enjoy. The story was dramatized for audio by Diane Vanden Hoven and George Zarr, and produced, composed, and directed by George Zarr and has a runtime of an hour and a half.

Most of the traditional elements of the fairy tale most of us are familiar with are there: a curse by a disgruntled fairy, a young princess pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, a brave prince battling a dragon to rescue the princess. If a person is used to only one version of the story (like the animated Disney version), there may be a couple of startling differences, however. For example, many of us know the evil fairy’s name as Maleficent, but in this story, the antagonist’s name is Tormaleen, though many of the other names are carried over. I am uncertain why that particular famous name was changed, while others like Aurora and Philip were not.
Barbara Rosenblat
voice of Tormaleen
One of the most interesting things to note about this version to me is that the protagonists of the story seem to be the three fairies who take care of Princess Aurora, rather than the princess or her parents. The story begins with the fairies talking about how they seem to be unneeded and past their usefulness at the castle, which is why they are relegated to the forest, and ends with a resolution to the fairies’ desire to be useful again. The sense I had that the story is really about these three fairies was reinforced by the fact that the one song in the drama is sung by the fairies and from their perspective. Each significant plot point in the narrative seems to be driven by the fairies’ desire to be helpful and their desire to renew their purpose in life. From their initial actions at the baby princess’s christening, to their blessings to counteract the evil fairy’s curse, to their offer to hide the princess in the forest and raise her, to their final battle, working with the prince to defeat the evil fairy, the fairies are the movers and shakers of this tale.

While children will resonate with the humor, adventure, and fun voices, adults may resonate more with the emotional journey of the fairies. The song, “You Have to Let Time Go,” music and lyrics by George Zarr, is a touching tribute by the fairies to the struggle of having to let kids grow up and the struggle of parents to ultimately let them go. Though the theme may seem like it would resonate more with an older audience, there is plenty to keep the attention of even younger kids, and much that will capture and delight them. The humor seems to be geared towards young children, with references to chocolate cake and silly misunderstandings abounding. Marigold, one of the fairies, is one of the primary sources of humor, and the voice of the bat, Babek, done by Joe Curt, is especially fun and silly.

Georgia Lee Schultz
voice of Aurora
The cast did an excellent job with this story. The voice of Tormaleen, performed by Barbara Rosenblat, is an exceptional standout. Georgia Lee Schultz, playing Princess Aurora, who seems to be the all-time QB voice for princesses and young female protagonists, delightfully captures the essence of the sweet innocence of Princess Aurora. Several actors played multiple parts, and I would never have known because the voices were so clearly differentiated (with the possible exception of young Prince Philip, who was obviously being played by an adult female). I have to admit that when I first started listening to the conversation between Hazel and Daphne, two of the fairies at the beginning, I couldn’t tell whether Hazel was male or female, but this was quickly cleared up by the dialogue, and then the voice really worked for the personality of the character. The sound design and music also mesh very well with the story and style.

Aside from the good fairies’ arc of learning to find their significance, and letting time go on, there are some subtle themes and lessons about obedience, wisdom, learning to deal with responsibility, and even a gentle challenge to the traditional fairy tale love story at the end when Princess Aurora asserts that she needs to get to know Prince Phillip better before marrying him, even though they’ve been betrothed since she was an infant, and he just awakened her from a sleeping curse with true love’s kiss.

All in all, this adaptation of Sleeping Beauty is quite well done, and is certainly a fun story that is worth listening to with the whole family! I would recommend Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre to any lover of well-told classic stories.

You can purchase your copy of Sleeping Beauty and listen to a sample of the show at the Voices in the Wind website.

Michael Schroeder has been passionate about stories and writing since he was a child. Through helping with short, audio drama skits, acting, and personal writing projects, Michael grew in his love for all things story. He attended the Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines in New York several years in a row to get creative training from masters within the world of Christian audio drama. He resides in Northern Colorado and has been involved in writing, Bible studies, and teaching voice acting with Lost Marbles Theatrics.


Voices In The Wind Audio Theatre 5146773029380079808

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