Cinderella is back by popular demand this 2019-2020 season at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, and we saw it on opening weekend, which was November 3-5. It was our second time seeing Cinderella at Children’s Theatre Company, as we first saw it in 2016 when Reed Sigmund and Dean Holt played the stepsisters. That was the most hilarious show we had ever seen at Children’s Theatre Company, so we knew we had to see how they updated it for 2019!
This Cinderella isn’t what you may expect. It’s a wacky, humorous, and panto style musical that mixes together the well-known story of Cinderella, a Victorian Christmas party complete with holiday carols, and contemporary pop culture references, audience participation and unpredictable fun. Panto style means “it contains original music, traditional holiday carols, and current popular songs; jokes and references to pop culture; tons of audience interaction; and lots of slapstick comedy.”
One parent asked me about it if her son, who isn’t into princesses, would like it – I said ABSOLUTELY. While little princesses will love the dresses, magic and innocence of Cinderella (there were plenty of little girls in Cinderella dresses in the audience), everyone else will love what else the musical offers. For example, there are jokes about the Twin Cities (like the 35W construction and life in Fridley), the stepsisters watch cat videos and order pizza, and candy and t-shirts are thrown out into the audience (sit in the floor section vs. the balcony if you want to be part of this).
This Cinderella stars some of the same actors as before, and some new ones, including Rajane Katurah as Cinderella and Dwight Leslie as the prince. The silly stepmother is played by CTC Company Member Autumn Ness again, who also acts as the show’s “master of ceremonies” in ways, and this time the stepsisters are played by Ashawnti Sakina Ford and Kimberly Richardson. I was curious how they’d do but they were fabulous – it’s not the same kind of humor as when Reed and Dean played the roles in drag, but these ladies definitely brought their own wackiness that was well-received.
There is magic and stage effects, when the fairy godmother cleans up the house for Cinderella and turns the mice and deer into her carriagemen and horses. There is also beautiful ballroom dancing and the costumes are lovely. And I love the Victorian Christmas scenes that felt like scenes from “A Christmas Carol” or “The Nutcracker.” It made Cinderella perfect for the holiday season.
And be sure to stay at the end because there’s a fun dance party not to be missed!
Overall it’s quite an experience for everyone – go see it!
For parents wondering whether to bring their kids – yes, it’s for everyone of all ages. It’s a long show at 2 hours with a 20-minute intermission, but there’s enough energy and fun to keep the kids from getting bored.
There is a quiet room in the back for kids who get restless or need a break, where you can still see the show. When the show started, my sensory-sensitive son immediately wanted to go to the quiet room, which has been comforting for him in the past. I encouraged him to give the show a try and soon he was so into the show that he never asked to go to the quiet room again. And it was a good thing because when they threw candy out into the audience, I was able to catch some candy from our seats (a tootsie roll), and I gave it to him!
Learn more about the show here: https://www.childrenstheatre.org/plays/2019-2020-season/cinderella
There are many ways to save on tickets:
(Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. All photos by David Rubene Photography.)