Press Release Kingston Meistersingers Presents Cinderella, a musical extravaganza in the tradition of British holiday pantomime, by Richard Linley. No, it’s not Disney’s version, and there aren’t any parts for talking mice in it, but the Meistersingers’ upcoming production of Richard Linley’s Cinderella is well-grounded in historical precedent. It is a holiday pantomime in the tradition of dozens of other retellings of Cinderella before it, the earliest of which were performed hundreds of years ago. It is a musical comedy that is sure to delight young and old alike. Of course, it tells the story of a young woman who, with the help of her Fairy Godmother, escapes the hard life imposed on her by her wicked stepmother and ugly stepsisters to go to a royal ball and meet her Prince Charming. And yes, things do come apart for the heroine when the clock strikes twelve, and yes, the Prince is left with only a glass slipper as a clue to the identity of his lost love. But along the way we meet Buttons, a friend of Cinderella who helps to guide the audience through the story. We discover that Prince Charming has a young friend, Dandini, who lends as much assistance to the star-crossed lovers as his considerable ego and negligible intelligence allow. We learn that Charming’s mother, the Queen, has quite a time keeping the King from placing her son’s future happiness in jeopardy through his get-rich-quick scheming. We also find out, at long last, why the Fairy Godmother’s magic comes undone at midnight. Fans of holiday pantomimes will note that this production of Cinderella adheres to many of the art form’s conventions. For example: • The show uses popular tunes adapted, as necessary, to fit the story line; • The audience is encouraged to get involved – greeting Buttons whenever he appears, cheering the good guys, and, of course, booing the evildoers; • The most outrageous women are played by men, and the most macho male is played by a woman; • There is a scene in which cries from the audience of “Look behind you!” are appropriate. The Meistersinger’s Cinderella is being mounted at the wonderful Octave Theatre on Dalton Avenue at Sir John A Macdonald Blvd. between 23 November and 2 December. There are ten performances, three of which are matinées. Out of respect for young audience members, evening performances begin at 7:30 pm. The artistic director is Richard Linley, the musical directors are Rick Cairns and Margaret Palimaka, and Rachael Tindale is choreographer. The members of the cast of 32 range in age from six years to the high side of eighty! Featured performers are Melissa Ringuette as Cinderella, Michael Donnelly as Prince Charming, Dick Miller as Buttons, Kelly MacIsaac as the Stepmother, Bruce Pettipas and Jim Gauthier as the stepsisters, Bonnie Loveday as Dandini, Lisa Miller as the Fairy Godmother, and Jack Francis and Ellen Tsai as the King and Queen.
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