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Review – ‘Cinderella’ at Spreckels Theatre Company By Alexa Chipman

The story of Cinderella evokes glittering ballrooms, happy endings and the power of kindness. In the adaptation by

The visual spectacle of vibrant gowns (designed by Pamela J. Johnson) and fairytale landscapes (projections by Chris Schloemp) will delight all ages. There are captivating touches of stagecraft magic, such as a terrifying dragon and Cinderella’s transformation from rags to a princess. This is a feast for the eyes, although it felt too drawn-out at times.

‘Cinderella’ features a colorful cast of villains—the vile Sebastian (Larry Williams) who keeps the kingdom in poverty in order to enrich himself, his crony Lord Pinkleton (Sean O’Brien) and the self-centered stepmother Madame (Daniela Innocenti-Beem). Their preening intrigues and outrageous personalities are a highlight of this production.

Secretly kind-hearted stepsister Gabrielle (Shawna Eiermann) is comic gold through her sparkling stage presence and exaggerated physicality. She and Ella (Brittany Law) come across as true sisters, joining forces to defeat evil. Their close relationship is emphasized by director Sheri Lee Miller and reinforces the message that women are stronger when standing together against a corrupt government who seeks to control them.

‘Cinderella’ has the whimsy of its fairytale origins but packs a political punch. While young children will enjoy the pomp and wonder of Spreckels’ magnificent production, most of the writing is aimed at an older audience and may not resonate with them. This version reinvents the classic with relevant commentary and dynamic women who speak up for what they believe in.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Presented by Spreckels Theatre Company through May 26, 2019

Thurs at 7:00pm, Fri/Sat at 7:00pm, Sun at 1:00pm Tickets: $36 general, $34 seniors, $18 children, $30 students

Nellie W. Codding Theatre at Spreckels Performing Arts Center 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (707) 588-3400

Photos by Jeff Thomas

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