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STC’s Cinderella fun for kids of all ages

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Saturday was opening night for Sacramento Theater Company’s holiday hit, "Cinderella” Imagine British pantomime, a vaudeville act and musical comedy with a little Beach Blanket Babylon thrown in.
The show is definitely interactive. Director Peggy Shannon started things off by having the audience do a warm-up by yelling back at the characters. And the characters don’t just address the fourth wall, they blast through it.

The plot is well known, but in this version a lot of topical humor and inside jokes are thrown in. The acting is excellent; many of the actors have appeared in previous STC productions of "Cinderella." This includes Michael RJ Campbell as Goneril and Brian Rodda as Regan, the evil stepsisters. William Elsman plays the even more evil stepmother, completing the drag trio. The three chew up the scenery. Many of the actors are or have been members of STC’s Young Professionals Conservatory and "Cinderella" gives them a chance to shine.

Book and lyrics by Kate Hawley are based on an original concept by Paul Whitworth. Both are from Shakespeare Santa Cruz. The lyrics are greatly enhanced by Sacramento composer Gregg Coffin’s music. The actors’ singing is spot-on, capturing the mood of each song. Two performances stand out: Hilary Wells as Cinderella and Brad Bong as her best friend, Buttons. Both have beautiful voices and delivered great performances. They are good examples of the quality of STC’s Young Professionals Conservatory.

Shannon’s directing moves things along. The only point when the action slows is the drawn-out scene of trying on the glass slipper. Well,slow for the adults maybe, but the kids were jumping in their seats for a chance to try on the slipper. Three young boys in the next row bounced up and down, waving their arms for a chance.

The sets by Giulio Perrone look like a pop-up storybook, with costumes, lighting and even the wigs adding to the magic. The three musicians sound like a small orchestra.

The plot and intrigues, the mice, dancing sheep and soft-shoe dancing bear added up to a lot of fun for all. And for the Cinderella in all of us, don’t forget $5 to buy a tiara before the show.

"Cinderella" runs though Jan. 3. Sacramento Theater Company, 1419 H St. 888-478-2849
Group sales, Ext. 120.
 

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