Since January, the cast and crew of “Sleeping Beauty” have been rehearsing weekly. And more.

The results of all that hard work will be available to audiences this weekend at the Virginia Theatre. Three shows are scheduled for the Champaign Urbana Ballet production: 7 p.m. Friday with Saturday performances set for 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $28 for adults, $20 for seniors and $14 for students 18 and younger. They can be purchased at

The cast includes 62 performers, ages 8 to 50s.

“We have some dads from the community that are in it,” CU Ballet Executive Director Kay Greene said. “A lot of our alumni dancers came back to be on stage. It’s our 25th anniversary, so it’s our celebration of that.

“The story is one of renewal and hope and has a happy ending.”

There are more than 100 handmade costumes. The set was designed by Andy Warfel.

“Sleeping Beauty is a classic,” said Deanna Doty Warfel, artistic director. “There are so many opportunities for our dancers in this ballet, both technically challenging and artistically. These classic ballets seem simple to the eye, but they require intense amounts of clarity and precision of technique. Any weakness in character or discipline is revealed. Every dancer needs to be sparkling and brilliant.”

“Sleepy Beauty” is one of five shows in CU Ballet’s rotating portfolio. Others are “Swan Lake,” “Cinderella,” Coppelia” and “The Little Mermaid.” “The Nutcracker” is also performed every year at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

To put on a new ballet production from scratch costs $80-100,000. CU Ballet tries to add a new show when the budget allows. Last year, it premiered “The Little Mermaid.”

Bob Asmussen can be reached at 217-393-8248 or by email at

College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).