‘Cinderella’ now on stage at Geva Theatre Center

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Geva Theater Center’s 50th anniversary season concludes with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” on-stage now.  

Emily Putnam gives us a look behind the curtain.

It’s a classic fairy tale, with some modern twists.

Yes, “Cinderella” is a love story. But, i’ts also about how one person can change the world, bring democracy to a kingdom, and how wisdom can be found in the most unusual places.

When you think of the story of “Cinderella” – you might think of glass slippers, a pumpkin turning into a carriage, and a waltz with a prince. This production has all of that and much more.

”It has all of the beauty and magic,” says Shelley Butler. “Trick dresses – all of the fun things that you’re looking for. But it also tells a story about radical kindness and how it can spark meaningful change.”

This production also sparks plenty of laughter – a lot of the comedy coming from Broadway actress Ann Arvia, who plays “crazy Marie.”

”Marie’s lesson, I think, in the play is, do not judge a book by its cover,” says Arvia. “When we first meet her, she is a crazy homeless person. She is referred to as “crazy Marie”, and then she gets to transform into the fairy godmother.”

It’s one of several on-stage transformations that make you think “how did they do that?”

”One of the things I love most about this production is how we pepper magic and sprinkle magic all the way throughout the show,” says Brian Klimowski.

There’s dancing, puppets, and tricks – even a little bit of juggling!

”I’m a juggler by trade in addition to a theater performer, so magic is sort of part of the job,” says Klimowski.

The cast consists of a diverse group of Broadway veterans and local actors.

”This is consciously cast inclusively, in a way that hopefully reflects the larger community, reflects society, and everyone should get to be in a fairy tale,” says Butler.

Before the clock strikes midnight, you’re invited to have a ball at Geva Theatre Center’s “Cinderella.”

”She’s out to change the world, in a beautiful way. really looking at the fact that empathy and warmth and kindness can be revolutionary,” says Butler.

”I think that’s the really powerful message in this show,” says Arvia. “His version of the show. That one person can make a change.”

Emily Putnam had a chance to see it on opening night – she took her mom for Mother’s Day – and they smiled the whole time. The show runs through June 11 at Geva.

To purchase tickets, click here.