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Sitting in a darkened audience mesmerized by fantastical characters, it’s easy to forget the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into a theater production: grueling rehearsals, set construction, costume sewing, and makeup application. Take the Colorado Ballet season opener, The Sleeping Beauty, which plays next month. The show’s makeup is more than enhancement—it’s a chief requirement: One of the main characters, the evil fairy godmother, is actually played by a man. Dancer Gregory K. Gonzales will sit for up to an hour to be transformed into a villainous woman with heavy layers of concealer, green eye shadow, and burgundy lipstick. The finishing touch: strategically placed shadowing that creates the appearance of the sinister-looking-and-obligatory-pointy witch nose. coloradoballet.org

5280.com Exclusive: Watch the transformation.

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This article appeared in the September 2012 issue of .

Daliah Singer, 5280 Contributor

Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.

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