Picks and Pans Review: Faerie Tale Theatre: Sleeping Beauty

updated 07/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

SHOWTIME (8-9 p.m. ET)

Once upon a time there was a young actress named Shelley Duvall who wanted to be a producer. She gathered together her fellow actors, musicians, writers and directors to adapt a series of classic fairy tales for cable television. Like all such tales, this one has a happy ending: Faerie Tale Theatre is consistently imaginative, visually arresting, and well performed by actors obviously enjoying a departure from their usual big-buck roles. In Sleeping Beauty, Bernadette Peters stars as the princess who must be awakened from a 100-year-long snooze by her prince, Christopher Reeve. Peters and Reeve are charming as the young lovers, and Beverly D'Angelo is drippingly evil as the spiteful fairy who casts the spell over the beautiful princess. True love prevails. So does some campy humor—"What kept you?" the princess asks the prince upon waking—that sometimes falls flat. (Fairy tales are best told straight.) But despite this shortcoming, Sleeping Beauty is truly enchanting. In the deft supporting cast are Carol Kane as a ditsy good fairy, Rene Auberjonois as a would-be suitor and Sally Kellerman as the queen mother. Jeremy (The Chosen) Kagan directed. (Check local listings for subsequent dates)

FRIDAY, JULY 8

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