Monday, December 6, 2010

African American Shakespeare Company "Cinderella"

When it rains it pours, and when it pours it floods, at least at the African American Cultural Center. What a shame -- yesterday's crowd for "Cinderella" was large and filled with children, and Act One was received very well. Then came the announcement that backstage was flooded, the bathrooms were flooded, the lobby was wet and they would have to cancel the rest of the show.

So they brought the entire cast out onto stage, in costume, and fielded questions from the rapt audience, with Artistic Director L. Peter Callender leading the questioning. Everyone was sad not to get to see Act II, but with The Handsome Prince sitting next to Cinderella in her white ball dress, it was easy to see where the story was going.

This is the eighth year for African American Shakespeare Company's "Cinderella," and it keeps evolving. But you've always got good kids, and bad kids, and good adults, and bad adults, and fairies and pumpkins turning into coaches. The show runs through December 19 so we say give 'em a few days and then try again.

African American Cultural Center
762 Fulton Street, San Francisco
$10 and up
Through December 19


Anonymous said...

I was "un"lucky enough to see both Act I and Act II. Trust me; it is good thing that Act II was flooded out. Maybe it divine intervention! The dancers in Act II were horrible! Stiff and unbelievable. My grandmother can dance better than these two. They could have cut the initial dance scene completely. The entrance of the stepmother and stepsisters stole the ball scene. The children on Friday night (12/3) were entertaining and adorable. The young girls are impressive actors. Hopefully, they will be cast in future productions. The little page provided a much needed comedic punch for this ensemble cast. The fairy godmother’s quirkiness was refreshing and new. The grandmother’s scenes were solid and engaging and moved the story along. However, this all happened in the first Act.

The plot and theme of this year’s Cinderella was confusing. The director, Velina Brown, did not seem to know if the story was set in North America or in South America. I think she missed the mark on this production.

The best part was seeing all of the young and old princesses wearing their pink crowns in the audience.

Anonymous said...

I am writing to update my last post. I had the opportunity to see this play again this season. Even though it still suffered from the major flaw of an inconsistent theme (i.e. were we in Africa, South America, Caribbean, America?), and some obvious lighting and sound issues(may I suggest you turn down the music when the actors are speaking), it was an enjoyable show. The actors must have worked very hard over the past week. They also had handbills at the show, so I can give proper acknowledgement to the cast.

Starting with ACT I: Beli Sullivan (Grandmother), Jazara Metcalf (Shayla), and Kai Toney (Sherena) performed well together. Ms. Sullivan's and Miss Metcalf's seasoned acting skills sparkled through and did not detract from Miss Toney's debut. They were funny, believable, and entertaining as an ensemble.

It appears, the fairy godmother, Tracy Camp, is no longer with the cast. I hope all is well. She was truly entertaining.

Natasha Noel(Stepmother) - One word "wicked". Stepsisters you should learn from mommy do as she says. In all fairness the stepsisters are entertaining,but their mother is a "force of nature".

The Duke, Dorian Lockett, was much more witty this time around.

Finally, the chemistry between Matt and Kahamara showed up and it was magical. Cinderella and Prince Charming finally fell in love!!!

The dance scene: (Yawn) Next year hire real dancers are cut it out completely. Rule one in dancing anywhere -- if you can't dance don't wear high-heels!

Overall, if the show had another week to run, it would be a decent show. Just don't compare it to previous years productions.

"Real people have real opinions"

DAK said...

Dear Anonymous, I don't know who you are but I love your attention to detail. You can write in here any time. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Forgot to proofread and spellcheck. So much for posting on a blog late at night. :)