Three years ago was the last time Cinderella was staged at the Children’s Theatre Company, and it was a hit that left the audience roaring with laughter. Now it’s back, and after seeing it for the first time with our kiddos, we understand why!
We went to Cinderella not knowing what to expect other than a fun show. We were wowed. It started out in a way we didn’t expect – with Christmas carolers, and a scene as if from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In fact, this version of Cinderella is told in a style based on the old English tradition of panto that dates back to the 15th century. Its characteristics include audience participation, characters played by the opposite sex (female characters played by men and vice versa), slapstick comedy, a singing and dancing chorus and a mix of old and new songs.
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This show did all of this and more. Right from the beginning, the characters interacted with the audience, telling them to stand up and scream whenever they heard the secret word. The characters interacted with viewers, threw candy, cake & t-shirts to the audience, and threw in twists, turns and surprises throughout. It’s wacky and hilarious mayhem!
Among all the humor and unpredictability, the classic story of Cinderella was there, and the lead role was played magnificently by Traci Allen Shannon (who recently played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz), whose amazing voice and heartfelt performance lit up the stage with every scene she got. But the ones who really stole the scenes were the stepsisters, played by company favorites, Dean Holt and Reed Sigmund, as well as the stepmother, played by Reed’s wife, Autumn Ness. Surprisingly, Autumn was as amusing and memorable as her two sidekicks, who when teamed up were as funny as The Three Stooges.
Kids won’t be bored at this show, and it’s entertaining for boys and girls of all ages. There are even plenty of pop culture jokes for the parents too.
Expect to be put in a holiday mood with classic singing and dancing, and laughing at one witty line after another involving everything from Pokeman to Google to funny cat videos. And at the end, expect nothing less than a dance party for everyone, audience included, to songs like “YMCA.”
Cinderella is playing now through January 8th. Buy tickets via the Children’s Theatre website or by calling the ticket office at 612.874.0400.
Cinderella is included in the 3 Pick Subscriber promotion here.