Panto-style comedy fun for all ages – Cabbagetown Theatre’s Cinderella…if the shoe fits!

So much fun this afternoon at the 1 p.m. matinée of Cabbagetown Theatre’s Cinderella…if the shoe fits!

Writer/director Kim Sprenger had a hand with the script from Liam Doherty, Stephen Flett and assistant director Basil Tamkei, as well as the cast; this is a show that was written with both adults and kids in mind, with plenty of laughs and fun for everyone. Cinderella features an amazingly funny and talented group of actors, including Cabbagetown Theatre veteran Wendy Akerboom (Fairy Godmother), Adriana Crivici (stepsister Willa), Michael Man (Prince Charming), Jennifer Monteith (Cinderella), Eunjung Nam (stepsister Nilla) and Tennille Read (Stepmama).

A small but appreciative audience came out for the second matinée of the day (they do 5 shows a day on Sat. & Sun.), braving the rain to join in the fun. And what big fun it was! Akerboom is hilarious as the saucy Scottish Fairy Godmother, opening the show reading Fifty Shades of Grey to herself (a little something for the grown-ups in the audience) – as this is a family show, she was reading silently – then asking the audience for a suitable family-friendly story to tell. Monteith is adorable as the BBQ-loving Cinderella, dreaming of being invited to a party as a guest one day, instead of as the hired help. Crivici is hysterically goofy as stepsister Willa, while Nam is a riot as the vacuous mean girl stepsister Nilla – and Read takes the mean hot mama role to a whole new level with her cougar on the prowl Stepmama, ginormous fake eyelashes, slinky dress and all. Man gives Prince Charming a sweet, dreamy gentlemanly quality, politely putting up with the step family’s shenanigans during his pursuit of the lovely, mysterious young woman he danced with at the ball.

The minimalist and colourful set, designed by Debbie Wong, evoked a fairytale world with its painted canvas backdrop and hanging printed fabric. And some really nice staging too, from the various styles of dance choreography employed during the ballroom scene to the slow motion action of the step family tossing Cinderella into the cellar when the Prince comes to call with the glass slipper. Engaging and inclusive, there’s audience participation – and you may be the one to catch Stepmama’s eye.

A nice modern adaptation of the story, with references to Facebook, Twitter and texting. And I loved the modern-day ending too – but you’ll have to go see that for yourself. It’s a happy finale for all, as the Fairy Godmother gets things going, inspiring an all-out dance party that segues into the curtain call – all to the music of Spirit of the West’s “Home for a Rest.” And you gotta love that.

You still have several chances to see Cinderella…if the shoe fits! Tomorrow (Sun, Sept 9), there are five matinée performances: noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m. at the Necropolis Chapel (200 Winchester St., Toronto – across from Riverdale Farm). The show runs about 30 minutes and tickets are $5.

And, while you’re there, check out the vendors and exhibits at the festival. The Cabbagetown Festival, which also wraps up tomorrow.

Just in case you missed these pics from the teaser post, here they are again:

Wendy Ackerboom as the Scottish Fairy Godmother
Jennifer Monteith as the BBQ-obsessed Cinderella
Eunjung Nam & Adriana Crivici as Willa & Nilla


Published by life with more cowbell

Multidisciplinary storyteller. Out & proud. Torontonian. Likes playing with words. A lot.

2 thoughts on “Panto-style comedy fun for all ages – Cabbagetown Theatre’s Cinderella…if the shoe fits!

  1. Caught the last performance on Sunday (4pm – although they started late to accommodate the packed house), and it was charming. Lots of adorable kid-participation – “Her name’s Cinderella!” someone yelled helpfully to the Prince, when he was wondering how to get in touch with the mysterious party guest. And Tennille was a hoot as a cougar, inviting an audience member (“you at the back with the beard”) meet her by W.L. MacKenzie’s tombstone out back after the show – grrrowll!

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