The Ensemble Theatre’s lively, rollicking production of Cinderella sheds the gossamer fragility of the fairy tale in exchange for broad humor. This interpretation was developed by San Francisco’s African-American Shakespeare Company; while the basic legend remains intact — yes, the slipper is there — this non-Disney interpretation has vitality, strength and a vivid, contemporary flavor. The actor listed simply as Teacake reprises the role of Cinderella, and she brings a dazzling smile and a solid stage presence to the part. And the wicked stepmother, played by Rachel Hemphill Dickson, is appropriately vicious and cruel, but she is so vivacious and wonderful the audience instantly forgives her. 8 p.m. Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit $10 to $45.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 12. Continues through Dec. 23, 2011


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