Sunday, December 18, 2016

A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS by Carol Kaufman Segal

            Lythgoe Family Panto brings Christmas to the Pasadena Playhouse for the 5th year with a charming production of A Cinderella Christmas written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe.  This is a real family treat and a chance for children to enjoy the magic of live musical theater and to interact with the performers as well.
            An addition to the well-known story of Cinderella is a character known as Buttons (Matthew Patrick Davis) who is Cinderella’s best friend, and who also loves her, but is unable to get the words out to tell her of his affection.  Davis is a delight with the audience, instructing them to yell out “Hi Buttons” each time he appears on stage.  And when Cinderella’s “ugly” sisters, Hollywood (Ben Giroux) and Vine (Josh Adamson) appear, he tells them to boo.
            The excellent cast features Lauren Taylor (Cinderella), Morgan Fairchild (the wicked stepmother Baroness Hardup), Alex Newell (Fairy Godperson), Kenton Duty (Prince Charming), and Davi Santos (Dandini, Charming’s right-hand man).  The first-rate dance group consists of William Clayton, Kelsi Darby, Ryan Fiene, Toi’ya Leatherwood, Joshua Rivera, and Valerie Rockey, plus a bevy of very talented children.
            The music, provided by the Michael Orland Band, is grand.  Taylor has a lilting voice, just right for Cinderella.  But it is Alex Newell who brings the house down with his rendition of When You Believe!  Of course, we all know the story of Cinderella, and as with all fairy tales, it ends up happily ever after, even for Buttons! 
              Lythgoe family productions are musical theatre that the whole family can enjoy and share.  I am pleased to say that I enjoyed it as much as any of the “kids” for its outstanding presentation.
            A Cinderella Christmas continues at the Pasadena Playhouse located at 39 South El Molina Ave., Pasadena, through January 8, 2017.  For online tickets and information go to www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org, or phone (626) 356-7529. 


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