I brought my daughter Maggie, and her friend Zoe, both first-graders, to the always pleasant and charming Northwest Children’s Theater for the opening weekend of Cinderella. With a top-notch cast, arresting tap-dancing and singing, vibrant sets and costumes, and a strong female lead character, Northwest Children’s Theatre’s Cinderella will dazzle the whole family.
The musical showcased the powerhouse vocals of Camille Trinka as Cinderella, as well as tap dancing numbers with the cast, sometimes as many as 20+ tap dancers on stage. The set was vibrant and sparkling, and gave the show a fun, holiday feeling.
NWCT’s version of the fairy tale takes the magic and glamour of the original story and adds a fresh, contemporary twist with a strong female character. Even when Cinderella is busy cleaning her stepmother’s house, she still shows spirit by insisting the stepmother say “please” when ordering her to clean and by taking pride in cleaning…her cleaning supplies. She dreams not of being rescued by a prince, but of dancing, and is always practicing her dance moves.
The prince of the story is Prince Bobby, who agrees to host a ball when his family encourages him to find a wife. But he, too, is consumed with dancing, and considers the fancy holiday ball more of an audition to find the perfect dance partner. When her fairy godmother comes to help Cinderella get to the ball, she doesn’t come only to give Cinderella a lovely gown and shoes, but rather also to help her perfect her tap dancing through practice in a fantastic song and dance “Practice Makes Perfect.”
Cinderella is recommended for kids 5 and older, and runs 2 hours, including an intermission (about 15 minutes to use the restroom or grab a snack — Maggie and Zoe recommend the cookies!). There were a few squirmy kids in the audience before the break, but most were drawn in by the dancing, singing, and fast-moving plot. The play was very kid-friendly with no scary scenes, and parents will love the positive messages about being true to yourself and working hard.
NWCT advises arriving at least 30 minutes early. Parking in the neighborhood can be tight. We did arrive early, and found a 4-hour metered spot quite close. We spent the time before the show looking at and talking about kids’ art on display, which are multimedia pictures of Cinderella’s and her stepsisters’ rooms.
After the performance, Maggie and Zoe loved meeting the cast, having them autograph their programs, and getting their pictures taken with them. The atmosphere was festive and warm, and the actors were gracious and fun with the kids.
Cinderella is a grand and exciting holiday show — with all the family-friendly touches we love about Northwest Children’s Theater. Upbeat music, amazing dancing, and humor make NWCT’s Cinderella a holiday gem.
If you go: Cinderella runs Saturday and Sunday through January 1st. All performances are at Noon & 4pm.
Michelle was given tickets to attend this performance by Portland Opera, but the views expressed are her own.