WCPO talks about Cincinnati Ballet’s hilarious addition to Cinderella
Dreams really do come true
Meet the Fairy Godmother, the riotous Stepsisters (hilariously performed by men in drag) and an ordinary pumpkin that transforms into a beautiful carriage as Cinderella’s triumphant story comes to life on stage! Elegant and effervescent with a twist of humor, Morgan’s choreography is paired delightfully with the music of Prokofiev, breathing new life into the classic fairytale. True to the famous 1697 tale by Charles Perrault, Cinderella’s good deeds awaken a magical transformation, with a little help from her Fairy Godmother. Finding love and hope for a better life, Cinderella reminds us all that dreams really do come true. Like Cinderella, the production has undergone a magical transformation itself. Featuring brand new sets and updated costumes, it’s sure to enchant audiences of all ages! Get your tickets before the clock strikes 12 or you just might turn into a pumpkin!
Sergei Prokofiev, performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carmon DeLeone
In the kitchen in Cinderella’s house, Cinderella’s stepsisters are embroidering a silk scarf while their mother dotingly looks on and spins wool with the father. The two sisters, being of bad and competitive temperament, begin to quarrel. They are so agitated that the only way their mother can resolve the fight is by tearing their scarf in half. When the sisters and mother leave, insisting that Cinderella sweep the floor (again!), her father tries to step in, but Cinderella insists that the task of sweeping belongs to her. When her father leaves, she is left alone with her thoughts. She has a brief, playful fantasy with the mice of the house, who are her only real friends. Her lonely thoughts induce memories of her mother. She pulls a painting of her mother from its hiding place and is overcome with longing to be with her again. Cinderella’s father finds her weeping, and they comfort each other.
Suddenly, in a huff, the sisters rush in to accuse Father of playing favorites with Cinderella. The fury is momentarily halted when an invitation to a very grand ball arrives. The Prince of the land is expected to choose a wife. Panic sets in as the stepmother and sisters try to imagine what they should wear.
Unexpectedly, the atmosphere changes, as mystery and darkness fill the room, and a beggar woman appears from nowhere asking for food. The sisters and stepmother are appalled, but Cinderella is sympathetic and offers the beggar a loaf of bread. Just as mysteriously as the beggar woman appeared, she disappears.
The mood changes instantly when the Wardrobe Master, Jeweler and Dance Master arrive to prepare the sisters and stepmother for the grand ball. There is much frolicking and excitement as the sisters and mother depart for this imperial event.
Left alone again in her tattered clothes, Cinderella becomes sad as she realizes that she will never be able to attend a beautiful ball like the one her sisters are going to. Wishing also to be at the ball, Cinderella gets carried away by her unattainable dreams. In a cloud of mystery, the beggar woman again appears. As Cinderella turns to find another loaf of bread, the beggar woman is transformed into a beautiful Fairy Godmother. She takes Cinderella to a magical land where shining fairies representing each of the seasons bring Cinderella special gifts to prepare her for the ball. Before she leaves for the Prince’s castle, however, the fairy godmother warns her that she must return at exactly 12 o’clock, for at midnight she will turn back into her original state. Cinderella, now dressed in a stunning gown and sparkling glass slippers, is radiant. The pumpkin, a gift from the autumn fairy, magically becomes a spectacular carriage, and Cinderella is whisked away to the ball of her dreams.
The curtain opens on the ball at the Prince’s castle, set in an elegant room filled with splendidly dressed courtiers dancing in a stately manner. The stepmother and her two daughters arrive and try pathetically to imitate the courtiers, attracting considerable attention. Two of the Prince’s friends find themselves unlucky enough to be dancing with them.
The Prince appears, greets his guests and takes a seat on his throne. As the ball continues, there are strains of new, enchanting music. Magical fairies enter with a lovely girl that the Prince cannot take his eyes off of. All the men in the court are wondering who she is. No one, not even her family, recognizes her. The Prince and Cinderella dance for each other and the court. In gratitude for her beauty, the Prince offers her fresh oranges, a delicacy in that time. The sisters, in their usual state of jealousy, see the oranges and demand some for themselves. In the resulting confusion, Cinderella is escorted away, and the Prince suddenly realizes she has disappeared. When they finally find each other, they are alone and share a private moment to stare into each other’s eyes. When the court reenters, the festivities continue. Right at the height of the celebration, before Cinderella has had time to contemplate that such an evening could ever end, the clock strikes 12. As predicted by the Fairy Godmother, great confusion ensues. The elves emerge from the clock, and the entire court is swept into bewilderment, just as the Fairy Godmother warned. Terrified, Cinderella flees the castle. She loses one glass slipper as she dashes out. The Prince discovers it and is comforted by the hope that if he finds the woman whose foot fits the glass slipper, he will find his true love.
The scene dissolves to where we find Cinderella back at home, thinking about the Prince. Could the evening have been real she wonders? Her contemplative thoughts are interrupted by the noisy entrance of her stepsisters reliving memories from last night’s ball: how popular they were and how the Prince gave them oranges. As usual, they get into a bickering fight. They stop short when attendants enter to tell them that the Prince is on his way, looking for the girl whose foot will fit the glass slipper. When the Prince arrives, both sisters and even the mother try to force the delicate slipper onto their enormous feet. As Cinderella is assisting her siblings, her glass slipper falls from the pocket of her rags. All is quiet as the Prince realizes that she is indeed the girl from the ball. The sisters can hardly believe their eyes. Cinderella tenderly accepts the Prince’s hand and bids her father, and even her sisters and stepmother farewell to go with the Prince. Their union is cause for great celebration, and the Fairy Godmother and all her special fairies appear to escort Cinderella and the Prince to the land where they will live happily ever after.
The Stepsisters are hilariously performed by male dancers!
This season’s production features reimagined set and costumes as well as brand new puppets and magic!
Cinderella is perfect for audiences of all ages – young and old!
A caring and thoughtful girl, Cinderella finds herself the outcast among her own family. But when her good deeds bring her dreams to life, she’ll need the help of the Fairy Godmother to transform into the belle of the ball!
“Cinderella really is a pleasure; hilarious, touching and a heartening tale of love conquering everything standing in its way. Not for pessimists, to be sure. But for the hopeful souls among us, a treat.”
Kelly & Tim Brown
Carole & Michael Giuliani
Luther Charitable Foundation