Queens for a day
Sacramento Theatre Company’s non-holiday holiday offering, Cinderella, is a delight from start to finish. This musical version of the glass slipper caper has something for everyone, and it delivers what it promises—entertainment for both adults and children.
For the purists, there’s the romantic true-love fairy tale; for the children, there’s enough silliness and magic to keep them enthralled, and for the “elders,” there are naughty double entendres galore.
First is the requisite Prince Charming and Cinderella, refreshingly played by two very talented local high school students, David Weidoff and Courtney Glass. But it soon becomes apparent this production isn’t your typical Walt Disney version.
For instance, there are four queens in this production—the one married to the king, and three who are real drags as the evil stepmother and stepdaughters in raucous, gender-bending roles. In fact, the step-threesome (Mark Brey, Drew Hirshfield and Vincent Zamora) steal every scene they’re in, and give delightful and wickedly over-the-top performances. Bo Peep (Bari Newport) makes an appearance with her naughty, naughty sheep who aren’t as pure wool as they first seem. The fairy godmother (Lucinda Hitchcock Cone) is endearing with her bumbling ways, and a character named Buttons (Joshua Finkel) lassos the audience in with his cheerful antics.
But what makes this production particularly fun is the audience participation portions. Throughout, kids are instructed to yell various lines, and they shriek with delight, especially when the prince goes into the crowd to try the glass slipper on wide-eyed, adoring little girls. On opening night, the children in the audience were completely captivated, including one youngster who saw Cinderella in distress and earnestly stage-whispered up to her, “Call 911.”
The show is mercifully non-saccharine, saved by sly ribald humor and endearing characters. And there’s not a sugarplum to be seen. The schedule is kid-friendly with lots of matinees and early evening start times.