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A fun romp for all ages

Princess Rubyslippers: a fairytale mashup

The multi-talented Amanda Stevens, left, and Gabriela Tatone, right. Photo credit: Alexis Sarah

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Like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Delicious Revenge of Princess Rubyslippers by Brendan Murray is a tasty romp that appeals to audiences of all ages. Now playing at Olympia Family Theater, directed by Pug Bujeaud, Rubyslippers is 80 minutes of laughter.

Ruby (Gabriela Tatone) is a girl of indeterminant age. She's bored. Her mum (Amanda Stevens) is anything but bored. She is harried and worn out. It's her so-called day off and she has a gazillion things she has to do, not the least of which is taking care of her children, Ruby and her big brother, Jake (Skylar Bastedo). She wants more than anything for a simple five-minute break to relax without the kids bothering her. Their friend Tom (Emily Bittrick) comes for a visit, and Ruby decides to hide from them. Dressed as a fairy princess with a single red ruby slipper -- the other one is missing, shades of Cinderella -- she climbs into a huge box and magically disappears into a make-believe world peopled by her fairy godmother, the big bad wolf, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, the wicked witch (all played by Stevens) and Prince Charming (played by Bittrick, who clearly loves it when Ruby asks him to kiss her).

Jill Carter's set design is lovely and playful, complete with posters from popular fairy tales and beautiful backdrops and cut-out images behind windows. Jonnita Thompson's costumes are smack-on exactly what you'd expect these kids and their mum would wear. (As readers might guess from the term "mum," this is a British comedy, and the cast does a good job with the British accents.

Tatone and Bastedo are boisterous, exuberant and over-the-top funny, Bittrick is slightly less loud and raucous and equally delightful. Stevens does a terrific job of portraying a woman who is at her wit's end, and she transforms nicely into the various fairytale characters she portrays. As the giant, she is comically ridiculous with her gruff voice and posing with a spread-leg stance and hands on hips like Mister Clean. This cast will have you falling in love with them.

All-in-all, Princess Rubyslippers is a less serious and more child-friendly Into the Woods, but without music, which is unusual for Olympia Family Theater.

Bujeaud is one of the Olympia area's most well-known and deeply respected theater professionals. She has written, directed and/or acted in more than 150 productions and served as Artistic Director for Theater Artists Olympia. For the past 15 years, she has headed up St. Michael's fifth grade Shakespeare program. This is her second show to direct for Olympia Family Theater, the previous one being The House on Pooh Corner.

THE DELICIOUS REVENGE OF PRINCESS RUBYSLIPPERS, 7 p.m., Friday; 2 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, through Oct. 20, $20, $16 student, senior, military; $15 children 12 and younger, Olympia Family Theater, 612 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.570.1638,

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