By Don Nigro
Rosey Snow is trapped in a fairy tale world that is, by turns, funny and a little frightening with her stepsisters Goneril and Regan, her demented stepmother, her lecherous father, a bewildered Prince, a fairy godmother who sings salty old sailor songs, a troll and a possibly homicidal village idiot. The play investigates the archetypal origins of the world’s more popular fairy tale, contrasting the familiar and charming Perrault version with the darker, more ancient and disturbing tale recorded by the brothers Grimm. Grotesque farce and romantic fantasy blend in a fairy tale for adults.
Audience Talk-Backs will follow immediately after performances on Friday, October 2nd and Sunday, October 11th. Michael Heimos will moderate.
Cathey Marks plays Rosey Snow. She is a standard version of a protagonist found in a typical fairy tale. She’s a vision of purity, fair skinned. properly mannered, and congenial. There’s only one fault that she has–something to do with her family. Mainly, it’s about her two step sisters Goneril (Michelle Pare) and Regan (Juliana Desai-Parsons), and her step mom and dad, known as Mr. and Mrs. Snow. (Joe Oliva and Susan Stangl respectfully.) Mrs. Snow is a bit pushy, while Mr. Snow is a bit lost, down to never finding his missing clothing, only wearing red long johns! Meanwhile, the local prince of the community of Cinderville, Prince Alf (Adam Fox), announces he’s throwing a royal bash that features dancing. Rosey meets her fairy godmother type-Mother Magee (Julie Hinton) that gives her the ability to attend. However, Rosey befriends a rather unlikely candidate that may be her real ticket to her happiness, if not for the dancing scene. Zed (Scotty Crowe) has been known around those parts as the village idiot. But he’s far from being a person with limited knowledge! At first he grunts and makes funny noises in order to speak. But he eventually possess the gift of gab, as well as a magical music box that give this pair an opportunity to present a waltz.
This play by Don Migro takes its own unique spin on “Cinderella”–assuming one could not guess what fairy tale this play catches. It creates a sense for the style of creation to the Brothers Grimm, the two siblings that hold credit for creating many of the modern fairy tales that have been told and retold way too many times. It’s expressed in an adult nature that other epics, but there isn’t anything raunchy or racy depicted. The cast that appear in this production hold plenty of comical timing. They speak in farceful tones, as well as present themselves as comedy material, right down to their clothing they don thanks to Christina Garcia’s creative costume design. But the laughs and zaniness are too far in between. This isn’t the fault of the players or the creative team behind it all. One can only set liability to the playwright, although that same writer holds a lot of merit to his work.
Directed by William Wilday, CINDERELLA WALTZ is still a charming theater show that is very amusing. However, this show isn’t really for young kids, just for those that are youthful in sprit but are of a mature age bracket. Experiencing this show at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre proves that intimate community theater still holds up. 2016 will commemorate fifty years sine this theater company made its current location its home base. Many other theater companies since then came and went. For this theater troupe, they have their waltzes down pat! From: Broadway World.com For its first production of its 2015-2016 season, Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre presents a fractured fairy-tale retelling in Don Nigro‘s “Cinderella Waltz” that delivers laughs and leads to rethinking what constitutes a truly happy ending. Prolific playwright Nigro once told the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism that he values “emotional truths, and every play is a new investigation into truth.” His murder mystery “Ravenscroft” currently at the Westchester Playhouse certainly follows that philosophy, and his 1978 “Cinderella Waltz” at the Morgan-Wixson offers a philosophical search for truth by examining the choices made by his quirky fairy-tale characters, especially Cinderella as she considers the all-too-common predicament of whether to choose a life of riches as opposed to a life of true happiness following her heart.The play investigates the archetypal origins of the world’s more popular fairy tale, contrasting the familiar and charming Perrault version with the darker, more ancient and disturbing tale recorded by the brothers Grimm. Grotesque farce and romantic fantasy blend in a fairy tale for adults. Make no mistake – this is not a typical children’s telling in that the script is spattered with some very adult language as we follow the fractured Cinderella fairy tale of a poor servant girl mourning the death of her mother as she dreams of a life of wealth and royalty. And listen closely to see just how many references to other whimsical tales you can catch!
William Wilday directs again for the Morgan-Wixson after helming the hilarious farces “Noises Off” and “The Underpants” in recent seasons. This is his third incantation of the play “Cinderella Waltz” as he admitted during the after-show talkback, Nigro’s sensibilities appeal to his own way of looking at life as a series of emotional possibilities. His wonderfully alluring yet somewhat simple set and evocative lighting deign enhance each moment of the action. But as several cast members admitted, the well from which many made their entrances and exits proved to be challenging given its smaller than expected dimensions!
L.A. stage newcomer Cathy Marks portrays Rosey Snow, the Cinderella type character who is trapped in a fairy tale world that is, by turns, funny and a little frightening as she deals with her stepsisters, the bitter Goneril (Michelle Paré) and the fluffy-brained Regan (Juliana Desai-Parsons), her demented stepmother (Susan Stangl), her lecherous Long Johns-clad father (Joe Oliva), bewildered Prince Alf (Adam Fox), fairy godmother Mother Magee who sings salty old sailor songs (charismatic scene stealer Julie Hinton), a troll on patrol (Aaron Merken) and Zed, possibly a homicidal village idiot (handsome Scotty Crowe) who eventually proves to be the sanest character of them all.
The production is creatively directed by William Wilday, produced by Anya Ivanova, with uniquely whimsical costumes designed by Christina Garcia and outrageously off-beat jungle-like animal sounds designed by Elias Bates which generated lots of laughs from the audience. But in a fairy tale such as this, even lions and elephants can live near a family hovel in the middle of a great forest on the outskirts of Cinderville.