Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Spreckels Theatre Company, Rohnert Park
Runs through May 26, 2019

Brittany Law
Photo by Jeff Thomas

It’s a relatively new adaptation (2013) of the Rodgers and Hammerstein original, so you may not have seen this version of Cinderella and, as staged by Spreckels Theatre Company, it’s full of fun and froth, with magic, romance, comedy, and fine performances all around. The modern message and fresh dialogue in the new book by American playwright Douglas Carter Beane make it enjoyable for adults as well as youth. Spreckels does such a bang-up job capturing the new themes and the gentle humor, you may not see a better production of this show for a long while.

You all know the basic fairy-tale plot, but in this version there are a few new twists, including a sympathetic stepsister, Gabrielle (Shawna Eiermann), her revolutionary love interest Jean-Michel (Michael Coury Murdock), and a villainous major-domo named Sebastian (Larry Williams), who tricks Prince Topher (Zachary Hasbany) into signing repressive legislation. The stepmother, Madame (Daniela Innocenti-Beem), is more cartoonishly nasty and klutzy than darkly evil. Even Cinderella (Brittany Law) gets a makeover into a conscientious young woman who aspires to create a kind and just world—and must come into her own self-confidence and belief in her dreams before she can partner with the prince.

That’s what makes it truly a modern tale, and more palatable for today’s young audiences—Prince Topher and Cinderella are equals, each having to find their life path and learn “who they are” before they embark on a journey together. . . .

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Talkin’ Broadway: