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Aurora sleepwalks to Ware Center

Josh Rittberg

Staff Writer

David Gonzalez performed his rendition of Sleeping Beauty at the Ware Center on November 5. (Photo Courtesy of ChicagoTribune.com)
David Gonzalez performed his rendition of Sleeping Beauty at the Ware Center on November 5. (Photo Courtesy of ChicagoTribune.com)

David Gonzalez is a professional storyteller, poet, playwright, magician, musician and public speaker. He worked all of these talents into his rendition of “Sleeping Beauty” at the Ware Center. His take is a little bit of a departure from the original tale, but he still managed to leave the young audience at the performance spellbound.

The children at the performance were rambunctious as the lights went down, but by the end of the play, you could even hear a pin drop. There was a question and answer session after the show, and the children had as many questions as the adults had for Gonzalez.

The natural charisma of David’s performance drove the tale, which is entirely written in rhyming verse.  Some of the rhymes were even written by Gonzalez right before the performance. The rhymes that he wrote were extremely creative and didn’t always go the way the audience expected them to, which added to the excitement of the performance.

Also on stage with Gonzalez was Composer Daniel Kelly,  whose lush orchestrations for the performance really were a work of art. During the performance, Kelly draws upon a mix of classical and original musical pieces that added greatly to the whimsical feel of the tale.

The music also made the performance feel very much like a play with music. Daniel Kelly’s music greatly complemented the words and movements of Gonzalez; they were an excellent team and a true treat to watch.

The projection design by Karen Janson really helped capture the audience’s imagination. Since Gonzalez and Kelly were the only one’s on stage, the visuals really helped the story come to life. All of the visuals that were shown on the screen of the stage advanced the plot while also reinforcing the sense of playfulness at the core of David Gonzalez’s story.

This certainly was not your ordinary children’s show. Actually, it was more than just a children show. It was a rather profound piece of art. It stipulated the imagination of the children and adults in the audience, while also giving everyone a very entertaining time at the theater.

This felt like something truly innovative and unique. It’s a true treat to see a performer put their heart and soul out onto the stage, and that is exactly what David Gonzalez did with his wonderful telling of “Sleeping Beauty”.