Starring Matthew G. Brown, Dmitry Chepovetsky. Written by Mike Kenny. Music by Jason Jestadt. Directed by Allen MacInnis. Young People’s Theatre, to Dec. 30.
The story of Cinderella has been adapted, revised, revamped, and modernized so many times that any genuinely new angle is a dream come true—especially if that new angle is told from the perspective of Cinderella’s rodent friends and it’s aimed at a grade-school audience. Happily, this version also gives Cinderella (Canadian Idol’s Steffi D.) some pluck, her evil stepsisters (Élodie Gillett and Amy Lee) some humanity, and establishes a much bigger presence for Cinderella’s mother (DeAnn DeGruijter), who stands in for the fairy godmother. As a result, the show moves away from the puddle-deep morals of the Disney tale to address more pertinent issues of self-esteem, independence, and grief. Director Allen MacInnis highlights the ballroom scene with a gleeful theatre-wide Bollywood dance, but has a few stumbles—namely, some awkward character changes, lacklustre songs, and distracting accents. Nevertheless, the updated story is a RATical enough overhaul to make this worth seeing.