Just in time for the holiday season, Penobscot Theatre Company proudly presents the musical Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale from December 5 – December 29th.
This enormously entertaining and irreverent comedy delights in crossing barriers, including the one between audience and actors. Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale, is full of witty and crafty language and in true fairy tale fashion, there is of course, a happy ending. In this joyous, magical, musical holiday production, goodness triumphs, evil is banished from the Kingdom, the Prince gets his girl–and the girl gets her shoes.
The story of Cinderella has been a treasured folktale for many years; over 300 versions had been collected from all over the world by 1893, including one published in 1697. It also has long been a favorite subject for “pantomime,” a form of theater unique to England that employs humor and music to tell a traditional fairy tale. PTC’s CINDERELLA blends English pantomime with the American musical to create a charmingly unique entertainment. This centuries-old story has survived the Industrial Revolution, the Summer of Love and the Information Age, and its heroine is still around to light up your Holiday Season!
Playing Cinderella is Stephanie Colovito, a senior at John Bapst High School who has been involved with PTC’s Dramatic Academy for over a decade. She appeared as an ensemble member in last season’s Annie and was featured in PTC’s touring production of I Am the Brother of Dragons. Artistic Director, Bari Newport remarks, “All of us here at PTC have watched Stephanie grow up in one way or another over the years. No one has worked harder or been more dedicated and we are just so proud that this uber-talented, young company member, will have the chance to play the title role in this production. She will soar.”
Cinderella’s father, Baron Hardup (Arthur Morison), cannot help his unhappy daughter as he’s completely in thrall to his wicked wife, Mrs. Badden-Rotten. “She’s so very attractive,” he simpers.
The stunning stepmother, the real meat of the show, will be played brilliantly by none other than Dominick Varney. As a cranked-up, camped-up cross between Cruella DeVil and RuPaul, she has one show-stopping number after another and is the character kids and adults alike will most lovingly despise.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when PTC favorite Ben Layman and New York based, Jesse Havea flounce upon the stage as the two hideous stepsisters. “Part of British Pantomime always includes casting the villainous female characters with male actors. It’s all part of the fun,” explains Newport.
Little Bo Peep (Jasmine A. Ireland) makes an appearance as a consciousness-raising anti-monarchist. Her sheep, like wooly Rockettes, are played by local student actors Abigail Thompson, Kate Fogg, Bronwyn Beardsley Molly Hagarety and Zivi Osher.
As the Fairy Godmother, Tina Burns sings some of the most beautiful numbers and has the power to transform pumpkins into carriages, with magic. The cast also includes Margo Lukens as the Queen, Bob Potts as the King and Charlie Hanscom as a tone-deaf trumpet playing, servant of the court and Logan Bard as Prince Charming’s girl crazy companion, Dandini.
The cast is rounded out by the incomparable Christie Robinson as Buttons, Cinderella’s best friend.
There’s also a rotund and wonderfully expressive dancing bear.
Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale was created for Shakespeare Santa Cruz by Paul Whitworth and Kate Hawley, with music composed and arranged by Gregg Coffin. The show opened to rave reviews in its 1999 world premiere and sold out again in 2000. Newport became familiar with the show when she was on staff at the Sacramento Theatre Company. “This is my father’s all-time favorite show,” she says. “The script is roaringly funny and accomplishes the difficult task of marrying youthful silliness with mature complexity and irony.”
This creative version of the beloved fairy tale is directed and choreographed by PTC Artistic Associate, Nathan Halvorson and features extravagantly outlandish costumes by Chicago based Jess Fialko, exuberant lighting by Michelle Caron, and spectacular sets by Sean McClelland and props by Meredith Perry.
Tickets are $15 for youth under 18 and $30 for adults. Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale plays at the historic Bangor Opera House Wednesdays through Sundays from December 5-29th with a special 10am matinee on December 24th.
Cinderella tickets make excellent holiday gifts. View show times or purchase tickets, subscriptions and gift certificates online at www.penobscottheatre.org, or through the Box Office at 207-942-3333.
Make a Day of It! Spectacular Event Center will host “Princess and Prince Lunches” before each Sunday show. Call PTC Box Office for additional details and reservations.
Penobscot Theatre Company, America’s Northeastern-most professional, year-round theatre company
Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale, a musical version of the classic story, perfect for the whole family
At the Historic Bangor Opera House in downtown Bangor, Maine
December 5 – 29; Wednesdays – Fridays 7pm; Saturdays at 5pm; Sundays at 3pm with a special 10am Matinee on December 24.
$15 youth tickets
$30 adult tickets
Call Penobscot Theatre Box Office at (207) 942-3333 or purchase tickets online at www.penobscottheatre.org