For everyone who has ever wished that Cinderella would just pull herself up out of the ashes and tell her wicked stepsisters to go buckle their own bustles, Edith Weiss has written a charming makeover of the classic Grimm fairytale.
In Weiss’ version, Cinderella! Cinderella!, the problem isn’t her evil adoptive family; it’s that she can’t muster the strength to defy their ridiculous orders. Plain and large-footed, Cinderella is nice to everyone, including her tormenting stepsisters. With just the right amount of magic, her vision-impaired fairy godmother (Martin Diaz-Valdes) helps Cinderella find the courage to stand up for what’s right.
Director Michelle Yeadon inspires her cast to completely buy into the story and the lessons it teaches. They enter singing the Beach Boys’ classic “God Only Knows” and proceed to delight in the performance and their young audience members.
John Jeffrey plays a down-to earth Prince and Shannon McInally is gratifyingly awkward as Cinderella. Antonia Gomez and a monstrous puppet are the fierce stepsisters, swallowing every one of society’s worst stereotypes for women.
My guest reviewers Owen, 9, and Margaret, 7, loved this play. Owen particularly enjoyed Cameron Walker’s quirky town crier, but with fun historical references and humor ranging from a cat in drag to misused French, there are laughs for everyone. Bring a blanket, snacks and your favorite kiddos and enjoy a new take on an old tale.
Cinderella! Cinderella! runs through Aug. 11 and Aug. 7-11, with performances at 11 am in Amazon Park; tickets are $5 and can be purchased from the box office starting at 10:30 a.m. on the day of each performance, children under 3 free.