‘Gadzooks! Cinderella’ at the Bartell Theatre


Josh Zytkiewicz

Cinderella played by Stephanie Frank in “Gadzooks! Cinderalla! (It ain’t Shakespeare!)” at the Bartell Theatre.

Josh Zytkiewicz, Managing Editor

“Gadzooks! Cinderella! (It ain’t Shakespeare!)” is not your traditional theater production.

The show is a British pantomime or panto. A panto is loosely based around a popular fairy tale, in this case Cinderella, with the addition of songs, dancing, slapstick and comedy based on current events. The audience is encouraged to participate, cheering when the heroes enter, hissing at the villains, and even singing along.

The show continues through Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Bartell Theatre.

“Cinderella” begins with the Prince, played by Kyra McFarland in one of several cross dressing roles as is traditional in panto, explaining to the audience the rules of panto before being interrupted by his father’s ghost who is eager to see his son married.

A sing and dance number introduces us to the townspeople and then Cinderella enters played by the lovely and wonderfully cast Stephanie Frank. Of course her evil stepmother (Maxine Fleckner Ducey) and her stepsisters with chest hair and a five o’clock shadow, the cross dressing Alec Moeser and Alex Singer, are not far behind.

A series of relevant, and sometimes not so relevant but very entertaining mini-scenes move us through the story of Cinderella.

A continuing bit throughout the show is characters who start to recite some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines only to be shouted down by the rest of the cast with, “This ain’t Shakespeare.” This was done expertly with the entrance of the fairy godmother, played by Caralynn Shields, who used some of her lines from her time as the Nurse in last spring’s production of Romeo and Juliet here at Madison College.

With a cast of characters ranging from the Minnesota accented Butcher Rosencrantz (Hillary Dadio-Perrone) to the voodoo practicing Tailor (Christopher Knight), the two hour show never has a dull moment.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at The Bartell Theatre box office or at bartelltheatre.org.