by Willard Manus
New Adventures, Matthew Bourne's dance-theatre company, has brought its
extraordinary production of CINDERELLA to the Ahmanson for an encore run.
First seen at the Ahmanson in 1999, CINDERELLA features superb dancing,
dazzling stage craft, and unique story-telling. And of course Sergei Prokofiev's
Bourne, who directed and choreographed, set his modern version of CINDERELLA
in the London Blitz. There, in the midst of wailing air-raid sirens, semi-destroyed
buildings, blacked-out streets, the London Underground, crowded dance-halls
and military hospitals, the love story between Cinderella (a nurse, Ashley
Shaw) and her handsome suitor (Andrew Monaghan, an injured RAF pilot)
unfolds in vivid, dramatic fashion.
Other key characters include Cinderella's guardian angel (Liam Mower in
a silver suit), Sybil, the evil stepmother (Madelaine Brennan), and various
stepsisters, stepbrothers, friends, and denizens of the Café de
Paris, where the plucky Londoners dance their nightly defiance of war
Set in three acts, this 2 ½ hour-long re-imagining of the Cinderella
fairytale is a success in every aspect, a delight for all the senses.
Bourne has made Cinderella's quest for love seem fresh, original and deeply
moving as well.
(Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave. Call 213-628-2772 or visit centerthreatregroup.org.
The show will also tour nationally)