HAMPSTEAD — One hundred years is a long time for a woman to wait for the right man to come along, but in "The Sleeping Beauty of Loreland," it turns out to be a worthwhile wait.
The North Carroll High School Drama Club will present children's author Frances Homer's modern remake of Charles Perrault's classic "Sleeping Beauty" Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium.
"It's basically the same story as "Sleeping Beauty," with a few minor differences," explained drama teacher Roberta Rooney, the play'sdirector.
In the modern version, the Black Fairy is left out of the royal family's christening celebration for their baby daughter simply because the spoiled queen, played by senior Shelley Donohue, 17, refuses to set a plate at the table that would not match the other place settings.
"Then the Black Fairy comes and she's very mad and very hurt and she puts a spell on the baby," Rooney said. "The Black Fairy isn't evil like in the original story, she just has her feelingshurt."
As in the original tale, the fairy curses the baby Beauty,declaring she will prick her finger and die. But a good fairy changes the curse from death to a sleep of 100 years.
Of course, the queen banishes everything that can prick Beauty from the land. However, the baby's nanny, also a seamstress, is banished only to the tower.
The story then leaps ahead to Beauty's 16th birthday and impending marriage to Prince Rupert, played by freshman Marty Burke, 14.
Beauty is played by junior Karleen Treppe, 16.
"The prince is very self-absorbed, really only interested in appearances, he doesn't like women who think, he's very conceited and stuffy and doesn't believe Beauty should have fun," Rooney said.
"When the nanny comes down with the wedding dress and sees this guy, she is so upset she deliberately rips the wedding dress and takes out a needle (to fix it).
"Thenanny is actually doing Beauty a service when she pricks her finger, because everybody in the palace goes to sleep for 100 years, exceptthe yukky prince, who is outside the palace's doors," Rooney said.
The play ends with good Prince Delmar, 14-year-old freshman Kyle Herb, making his way into the palace and finding Beauty, whom he kisses, awakening everyone.
"One neat thing we're going to do is invite kids in the audience up on stage during intermission to see the sleepers at the end of Act Two," she said.
Though adults should enjoy the play, too, since the story is basically a children's play, we thought it would be nice to invite the younger audience on stage, Rooney said.
Indeed, the main concern of Rooney and the cast of 18 students is that the children who come to see the play thoroughly enjoy themselves.
"I encourage people to come and bring their children," said Susan Quinn, who plays the nanny.
Susan is one of the play's veteran performers, although the part of the nanny is something new forthe 17-year-old senior.
"In past plays, I've played little girl parts. When I read this, it was like, wow, this is something new," shesaid.
"Nanny is the peacemaker between the king and queen," said Susan, the daughter of Dennis and Kathy Quinn of Westminster. "She's a sweet little old lady and a nice person."
Even the Black Fairy is not really bad, just very sensitive, said Colleen Murray, who playsthe part in her first acting role.
"I read the Black Fairy's partand really loved it," said the 16-year-old junior. "I think the Black Fairy is really a great character. She's not mean, her feelings were just hurt and she has a bad temper."
The part is "very expressive and exaggerated," said Colleen, the daughter of Bill and Linda Murray of Hampstead.
It is, especially when the Black Fairy scowls, zaps the baby with her spell and waves sheer, black scarves around.
"The Sleeping Beauty of Loreland" will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the North Carroll High School auditorium. Seats are $2; doors open 30 minutes before curtain time. Information: 374-6105.