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Acting Like Children

I feel pretty
Earl Maulding

It's a little girl's dream to be a princess, with flowing hair, creamy skin, and pretty dresses with matching sparkly tiaras. But what if you are a beautiful princess who is seen by everyone else as an ugly hag? You can see how the princess, her fairy godmother, and their buddy Clyde the inventor react to the evil spell in Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell. Winner of the tenth annual National Children's Theatre Festival, the musical by Steven Fisher and Joan Ross Sorkin will be celebrated and performed this weekend at the Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables. "It's one of the most charming, original fairy tales ... and the music is wonderful," says Earl Maulding, director of theatre for young audiences at the Actors' Playhouse. The festival was created as a competition to find quality musical productions for children. "We receive about fifteen entries from all over the country each year," says Maulding. "When producing plays for kids, you have to think in pictures ... [and not] be afraid to approach it with a larger-than-life style."

The festival will spill out of the theater and onto Salzedo Street Saturday, April 30. Children can enjoy a pancake breakfast (courtesy of IHOP) with Cinderella, Tigger, Piglet, and Winnie the Pooh at 9:00, and outdoor performances of Isabelle at 10:00 and 3:00. Children will also be able to participate in workshops on acting, stage makeup, and costume design; catch the crazy antics of Urban Disturbance; and take a hula dancing lesson from the Hawaiian Entertainment Dance Company. The Actors' Playhouse Musical Miracles youth group will perform The Pirates of Penzance at 4:30. Sunday, Momentum Dance company will roll out the bubble wrap for their "Dancing Imagination" session, which should keep the youngsters hopping and popping all afternoon.

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