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In the live-action Barbie Live in Fairytopia (which opens at Playhouse Square tonight), the world's most famous doll comes to life in a story that may confuse anyone who's not a prepubescent girl: Barbie's flower home is sick, and the fairies are having trouble flying. It's up to Barbie to save the day.

"It's about courage and love and friendship," says Erin Elizabeth Coors, who plays Barbie.

There's also plenty of singing, dancing, and jumping around onstage. Coors hopes that much of that action spreads to the kids in the seats. "It's not one of those shows where kids have to sit quietly and behave," she says. "We encourage them to get up and sing and dance with us." Also, Coors says, the show isn't just for girls. "We have the evil character's bumbling sidekicks. They're always falling over. Boys really seem to like them."

Barbie Live in Fairytopia is a dream gig for Coors, a Cincinnati native and Kent State graduate. "I have three younger sisters, and between us, we probably had 50 to 100 Barbies," she says. "It's what we always got for birthdays." The 24-year-old Coors sees much to admire in Mattel's best-selling toy. "She's sincere, loving, and honest," she says. "I like to think that I am Barbie, even if I don't have the Dream House." The production runs through Sunday at the Palace Theater, 1519 Euclid Avenue. Showtimes are 7 tonight and 11 a.m., 2, and 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. Tickets range from $15 to $37; call 216-241-6000. — By Michael Gallucci
Fri., July 28, 7 p.m.; July 29-30, 11 a.m., 2 & 5 p.m.

Speaking of Highlights

More by Michael Gallucci

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