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.
It was fun to see the variety of ages in the crowd, especially the moms and daughters sharing a special evening out.
There were also some groups of college students celebrating the end of finals.
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!”
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.