If you are still dragging your heels and wondering if it’s worth shelling out $25 – $140 for you to see Cinderella, don’t. You shouldn’t have to think about it…you should be doing it. Now. And quick, because there are only seven shows left and you do not want to miss this amazing performance.
Forget what you might think about the ballet: Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella not only has all the magic of the traditional fairy tale, but it is incredibly funny and moves very quickly.
Instead of a traditional review, I am going to tell you why you need to go in five, easy bullet points:
1. It’s the ultimate drag show. There are two guys in lavish, over-the-top women’s clothing acting as Cinderella’s stepsisters, and they are fabulous dancers, flamboyant performers and funny to boot. Played by David Gombert and Michael Smith, these stepsisters fight with each other, try (unsuccessfully) to take dancing lessons and go gaga over every man who steps foot on the stage.
- Best scene with the stepsisters: During the ballroom dance, they get courted by Napoleon and Wellington, played by Brian Gephart and Fabrice Calmels, respectively). Neither stepsister wants to be with the squat Napoleon because of his stature until it is suggested that he might be, uh, well endowed. It’s a clever, subtle scene that will have the adults in stitches.
2. The set design, costumes, accessories and props will make you forget about real life. That’s because set and costume designer David Walker pulled out all the stops with this production. During Act I when the Fairy Godmother appears, the Fairies of the Four Seasons perform dances in front of semi-transparent, hand-painted screens. They were beautiful.
- Best prop: The Fairy Godmother picks up a pumpkin and tosses it off stage. A burst of fire and smoke flare up and then out rides the glittery carriage. Beautiful!
3. Gorgeous dancing. Well, of course. This is the Joffrey. Everyone was at their best for opening night especially The Jester, played by Derrick Agnoletti, who was a show-stealer. His infectious energy had the audience enraptured and he got more air in his jumps than Michael Jordan. It was so impressive!
- Best dance of the evening: The pas de deux between the Prince and Cinderella in the palace. Keep an eye out for it!
4. Cinderella is a classic. Much like the Nutcracker, you know what is going to happen, but that doesn’t make it even an ounce less charming. The ballerinas emote so much through their dancing, and the Chicago Sinfonietta really makes the programme come alive by providing the perfect soundtrack to all of the emotional ups and downs that Cinderella goes through.
Best scene for music: When the clock strikes 12, the music picks up into a frenzy. Cinderella knows she has to leave, but you watch her struggle with the decision as she runs back and forth to the stairs and the Prince. Then Cinderella goes from glamourous ball gal to raggedy housekeeper as her clothes change before your eyes.
5. Pure entertainment. So you don’t know what a pirouette piquée is and frankly, you don’t care. I get it. But even if you just want to have a great family, date, group or guy’s/girl’s night out, Cinderella is the place to be. Your eyes and ears will be treated to some of Chicago’s finest dancers and musicians while you can turn your mind off and forget about the day. You can make a whole evening out of it or you can make it the only ballet you ever see. But I promise you this, you will not be disappointed if you see Cinderella.
See you at the ballet!