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African-American Shakespeare Company charms us with its take on Cinderella 

Wednesday, Dec 19 2007

The more freewheeling the fun, the better the show in the African-American Shakespeare Company's rendition of the familiar holiday children's story. When the whole cast suddenly bursts onto the stage for a joyous 1950s dance number, or the two Ugly Stepsisters get into an all-out wrestling match over Prince Charming, the audience gets sucked into the silly, infectious affair. The show lags when the cast falls back on straightforward storytelling, delivering the well-worn tale competently but without much fire or flair. But thankfully this brisk 85-minute show (with intermission) wastes little time with plot details. And why should they? We all know the story, even the 5-year-olds among us. We came to see Cinderella and Prince Charming (Ayana Matthews and Justin Chu Cary, who are, well, charming) sweep across the dancefloor. And the more the cast lets rip, the more we get caught up in this tale of how love and goodness really can conquer all.

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Molly Rhodes


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