After a six-year absence, Cinderella and her glass slippers make their way back to the Sacramento Theatre Company’s Main Stage. While it may seem odd to run a fairy tale production during the month of December, there’s a method to the madness. Not only does the show fit well with the Company’s “Friends, Foes, and Family” 71st season’s theme, the show builds on a tradition originating across the pond. Cinderella is written and performed in the style of a British Panto, a holiday musical production format introduced in 1717. Mixing a well-known story with slapstick, innuendo, audience participation, and a pinch of complete nonsense, Pantos appeal to all age ranges and add variety in a sometimes supersaturated Christmas theatre market.
So what does this production of Cinderella bring to the table? For starters, it’s nothing like the more familiar Disney rendition of the classic tale – and that’s what makes it great. You’ll be cheering for a dancing bear, a Kris Jenner-esque stage stepmother (aptly named Mrs. Baden-Rotten), and a sassy Lil Bo Peep (and her flock of baaaad, baaaad sheep)…guaranteed. For me, the highlights are when the cast breaks the fourth wall and engages the audience in its buffoonery – prepare to yell “Buttons” and possibly try on that famed glass slipper.
The production also celebrates homegrown talent. Cinderella’s music, written by local songwriter and composer Gregg Coffin, comes to life with a live band led by Samuel Clein. As well, much of the cast stems from the Sacramento Theatre Company’s Young Conservatory, including the belle of the ball, Cinderella, played elegantly by Angel Hermosillo.
The production’s feel-good message isn’t limited to the what happens on the Main Stage. For the show, Sacramento Theatre Company has partnered with the River City Food Bank, in an effort to alleviate hunger in the Sacramento County. Attendees who bring non-perishable food items to the Sacramento Theatre Company Box Office will receive $5 off per item on a full-price adult ticket. (Up to four donated items. Limit four tickets per customer.)
And to add to the cuteness factor, at the end of each performance, your prince or princess can take a photo with the cast of characters. (Crowns and tiaras are even available onsite for purchase.)
Make it a festive night and hitch a pumpkin carriage to see Cinderella through December 27. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm, with matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. For more information, visit the production’s Sacramento365.com listing here.
This post was written by Jamila B. Khan, Content and Social Media Coordinator at Sacramento365.com.