The wicked stepmother and her girls are tormenting poor Cinderella again, as Sacramento Theatre Company brings back this old favorite fairy tale to delight audiences. Directed by Michael Laun, with story and lyrics by Kate Hawley and music by local composer Gregg Coffin, this version is staged as a British pantomime—a style done traditionally at the holidays and one that dates back more than 300 years. Laun’s take on pantomimes incorporate song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, cross-dressing, in-jokes, topical references, mild innuendo and audience participation. As such, STC hits every nail on the head with this production.
With the brilliant Michael RJ Campbell reprising his role as wicked stepmother Mrs. Badden-Rotten, and a cast of irresistible characters led by the worst stepsisters ever (deliciously over-the-top performances by Emily Serdahl and Brandi Lacy) and a quirky Good Fairy (Miranda D. Lawson), this is sure to be a hit with audiences.
The prince (Sam C. Jones) is charming and Cinderella (a role shared by Emily O’Flaherty and Madeline Perez) is irresistible. Throughout, they’re surrounded by a host of minor characters including a tap dancing bear and a herd of Rockettes-like sheep.
There are lots of opportunities for audience participation in yelling commands, waving arms, answering questions and, especially fun for the kids, the chance to try on a glass slipper as the Prince runs through the audience looking for his lost love.