Once there was a fairy rejected and scorned, as if she had never, ever been born.

Once there was a fairy rejected and scorned, as if she had never, ever been born.

A new and entertaining rhythmic version of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty

Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Drive, Irvine CA | 949.854.4646

David Gonzalez in Sleeping Beauty
Sunday, April 23, 2016 @ 3PM
Tickets: $21

If you think you know all there is to know about Sleeping Beauty, you are in for a wonderful and magical surprise.

The classic fairy tale is told anew in David Gonzalez’s innovative and poetic presentation. Gonzalez, whose storytelling has been engaging imaginations for over two decades, combines quirky, rhymed verse, live music, multi-media, and the most extraordinary device of all — our imaginations — to create a world in which our beautiful (and funky) princess is awakened by true love’s kiss…or not.

Recommend ages 6-10

Artist Website


Sleeping Beauty at The Kennedy Center

David Gonzalez

Where do we go in our dreams? How are our lives enchanted? These questions are universal, and they are at the heart of Sleeping Beauty. I have been intrigued by this story from the first time I heard it read to me as a child. Why was the 13th fairy rejected? Why was the price of ignoring her so high? Like all great fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty poses more questions than answers, and that is the charm of the story – to elicit wonder.

I have been listening to Glenn Gould’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the past several years – with their passion, intelligence, grace and power they truly are magnificent. The first movement, the Aria, is the root of all the variations – its gentle poise and sense of longing and redemption are stunning. I wanted Sleeping Beauty to have that quality of delicate passion, precision and grace, and asked my collaborators to listen intently to it, and to make their work on the project accountable to its charms. I said to them “our Sleeping Beauty should leave the same impression on the children who see it as Bach does on us.”

The other key point of inspiration was when I was reading Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax to my friend’s young child. As I approached the end of a typically bouncy phrase, little Jarrett quite naturally spoke out the last word to complete the line – the momentum and context of the writing made it impossible not to, and thus we were reading together, joined in the conjuring of the imaginative world. That delicate intimacy of reading together with a young child, of completing rhymes and lines, touched me deeply and made me remember the joy I knew as a child and as a young parent reading to my own little ones. In that moment I knew that I wanted Sleeping Beauty to have a sense of precious interactivity and co-conjuring.

My hope is that this show is a feast for the senses with Bach and original music, video, lighting, and a script of rhymed verse that makes Sleeping Beauty a fairy tale experience that kids will remember for a lifetime.


David Gonzalez (Writer, Producer, Performer) is a professional storyteller, poet, playwright, musician and public speaker. He is a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and is the proud recipient of the International Performing Arts for Youth Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Excellence. Mr. Gonzalez was named a Fellow of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience for The Frog Bride. David has created numerous productions, including the critically acclaimed ¡Sofrito! with the Latin Legends Band and MytholoJazz, both of which enjoyed sold-out runs at New Victory Theater. Sleeping Beauty was co-commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Brooklyn College and the McCallum Theatre. David was a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, and has appeared for three seasons at the Royal National Theatre in London. The Man of the House was commissioned by and premiered at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2013.

Mr. Gonzalez’s work, Double Crossed: The Saga of the St. Louis, toured nationally, including a run at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As If the Past Were Listening was in Lincoln Center Institute’s repertory for three seasons. Finding North, commissioned by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, ran at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. He co-wrote Mariel, an Afro-Cuban musical which won the Macy’s New Play Prize for Young Audiences. David is also the librettist for Rise for Freedom!, produced at the Cincinnati Opera, and wrote and produced Jimi and Mr. B, a musical commissioned by the Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center. His poems for The Carnival of the Animals, with classical piano virtuoso Frederic Chui, premiered in 2008. David was the host of New York Kids on WNYC for eight seasons; earned his doctorate from New York University’s School of Education; and worked as a music therapist with handicapped children for many years. David’s poetry project, City of Dreams, has been presented at colleges, festivals and theaters throughout the country. He is also the Artic Director of Crisalida Communications, a company dedicated to creating effective and lasting relationship between performing arts centers and local community groups. Online at and

Daniel Kelly (Pianist and Composer). Award-winning composer and pianist Daniel Kelly has performed with Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Don Byron, Dave Liebman, Bobby Sanabria, Harvie S, Lauryn Hill, John Zorn, Oliver Lake, Candido, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and many others. In addition to several CDs he has recorded as a sideman, Daniel has recorded four CDs as a leader, including Duets with Ghosts, featuring his unique approach to electronic sound manipulation and sampler. His CD Portal is an improvised solo piano suite that arose from his ongoing series of improvised solo piano concerts, some of which were for audiences of 1000 people. His piano trio CD, Emerge, topped the charts in 2009. His quartet is a recipient of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award. Daniel’s composition commissions include an evening-length piece titled Wounded Splendor, a multi-media work that is part of the University of Maryland’s Performance as Politic/Artist as Activist 2009 season and the feature film score The Legend of Johnson Roebling. Daniel has been a Lincoln Center Institute Repertory artist with David Gonzalez since 2002.

Lenard Petit (Director) has directed and choreographed successful productions on and off Broadway. He has been the director of the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio since 1995, and has worked in theaters all over the world including Munich, Helsinki, Denmark, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich, London, Moscow, Madrid, Riga and Irkutsk, Siberia. Mr. Petit has also worked in New York as an actor for 25 years with such notable directors as Julie Taymor, Richard Forman, Meredith Monk and Ping Chong.

David Lander (Lighting Design). New Victory: David Gonzalez's MytholoJAZZ. Broadway: I Am My Own Wife, Dirty Blonde, David Henry Hwang's Golden Child. Off-Broadway: After Ashley, Address Unknown, Bach at Leipzig, Beautiful Child, Beast on the Moon, Dirty Blonde, Fran's Bed, Going to St. Ives, Grandma Sylvia's Funeral, I Am My Own Wife. Regional: About Face Theatre Co., ACT, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, George Street Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Sundance, Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, The Old Globe, St. Louis MUNY. International: London, Leeds, Dublin, Toyko and Singapore.

Karen Jenson (Stage Manager) has collaborated with David Gonzalez on Wounded Splendor, The Carnival of the Animals, Sleeping Beauty, and The Man of the House, a commission by The Kennedy Center, which she directed. Her collaboration with New Vaudevillian Bob Berky birthed Joseph Sweet's Circus of Longing, a community project which toured for years and is now being re-imagined as a one woman show for family audiences. She is currently producing a new season of her playful television series ...And Karen Show for Wyoming PBS, and researching the strange life of “Buffalo Bill” Cody for an upcoming project with Master Puppeteer, Siem van Leeuwen.