My kids slept through ‘Cinderella’ but you should still go see it

When I heard that “Cinderella” was coming to Bass Concert Hall Dec. 6-11 as part of the Broadway in Austin series, I couldn’t wait to take my 8- and 5-year-old daughters, both longtime Cinderella fans who had never been to a performance like this. When we walked in and spotted ballgowns and tiaras and Cinderella dresses at every turn, I could tell we were in good company.

Olivia Patino, 4, grandma Tressa Stanton, left, and mom Michelle Patino at Wednesday’s “Cinderella” performance. “I wanted to see her sing,” said Olivia. “I like when she’s going to the ball.” Kristin Finan/American-Statesman
It was fun to see the variety of ages in the crowd, especially the moms and daughters sharing a special evening out.

Bianca Sanchez, middle, and daughter Sophia attend “Cinderella” with friends Linda Hernandez and Danielle Mizerak. Bianca read “Cinderella” to Sophia earlier in the week to prepare her for the experience. “I love Cinderella, I love Disney, so I wanted to bring my daughter and best friends and make it a girls night,” Bianca said. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman
There were also some groups of college students celebrating the end of finals.

Friends Jialin Li, left, Sharon Leung and Allyson Szatny goof around before the Wednesday night performance of “Cinderella” at Bass Concert Hall. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman
My daughters, who had donned their best Cinderella shirts and boots for the occasion, were excited. The stage was beautifully set with an ornate village scene, as though the pages from their favorite fairy tale pop-up book had been super-sized and set inside the concert hall.

I hadn’t thought much about the 8 p.m. start time — my daughters would be so excited they would easily make it to the end of the show, I figured. And yet by the time the clock struck 8:30, both of them had turned into pumpkins, their heads resting heavily on each of my shoulders. The dim lighting after a long school day was just too much for them to take.

Which is a shame, because the show was fantastic.

The plot follows the traditional story line but with plenty of tongue-in-cheek and at times hilarious jabs at royalty, class and gender. The role of Ella (expertly played by Tatyana Lubov) is also written with an empowered bent — official merchandise kiosks sold goods with the tagline “This princess saves herself.”

The show was lovely to watch and filled with surprises — the audience gasped collectively as fairy godmother Marie (Leslie Jackson) transformed pumpkins, raccoons and foxes into magical ball necessities in front of our eyes while crooning, “All the dreamers in the world are dizzy in the noodle!”

Leslie Jackson plays fairy godmother Marie and Tatyana Lubov plays Ella in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Courtesy of Carol Rosegg
With its upbeat soundtrack and spectacular costuming, the show kept (most) younger audience members engaged for its two-plus hours but also provided plenty of subtle jokes to entertain adults. My only regret is that while my daughters were there physically, they didn’t see it. It was a treat.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I highly recommend it. Although if you’re taking the kids, you might want to consider a matinee.

Learn more about the show and buy tickets here. 

Author: Kristin Finan

Kristin Finan is a writer, editor and author. Learn more about her at

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