By Laura Barfield, for the Mirror
“Cinderella: A Holiday Panto,” by Vince Brady, is a lively fairy tale / musical / comedy with a variety show feel. This show depends on audience participation. So be prepared to boo, cheer, and sing along!
“Cinderella” is a wonderful way to introduce children to the theatre while still being wildly entertaining for adults. A few children from the audience are even invited to join the actors on stage!
A British tradition, the first Panto was performed in the early 1700’s, introducing pantomime theatre to England. Over the centuries, Panto evolved mostly as musical comedic retellings of fairy tales. These shows are still enjoyed today; especially at Christmastime across the pond. “Cinderella,” written and directed by Vince Brady, is chock-full of slapstick, parody, local references, and puns… some of the punniest I’ve heard! My English husband, who lived in England until the age of 10, attended Panto’s every holiday season. He said “Cinderella” brought him right back to his childhood.
The entire cast’s performances of “Cinderella” is impressive in this high energy show that runs almost three hours. The hilarious Bob Dedea and Brad Cerenzia (and their wacky costumes) steal the show as Cinderella’s stepsisters. Jessie Selleck, Cinderella, wow’s with her singing voice. Meghan Ames, Buttons, is a powerhouse with boundless energy. Kyle Sinclair, Prince, has impeccable comedic timing. Jasmine Wright, Dandini, is an all-round superb performer. And the show wouldn’t be complete without Deborah Armstrong on the keyboard!
Centerstage Theatre is located just minutes off I-5 in Federal Way. “Cinderella” runs through Dec. 18. There is also one sensory friendly matinee on Dec. 3. If you find yourself peckish at intermission, there is a concession stand, including alcoholic beverages.
Laura Barfield has worked in early childhood education and was published in multiple issues of Kids Imagination Train. She also has a theater background in both acting and directing. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, two sons, and one labradoodle.