Move over, Rodgers and Hammerstein: there's a new version of "Cinderella" in town, and this one's not for kids.
Coming off the success of the baroque-burlesque holiday spectacle, "Nutcracker Rouge," choreographer Austin McCormick has brought a similar vision to his take on Charles Perrault's classic rags-to-riches tale for Company XIV, now playing at New York's Minetta Lane Theatre. The "Cinderella" essentials are pretty much intact in his version: mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, an orphan girl (Allison Ulrich) meets a handsome prince (Steven Trumon Gray) at a royal ball. The loss of a glass slipper hunts a village-wide probe before the two live happily ever after.
But McCormick plays fast and loose with the story's specifics, and the results are gleefully naughty. After all, only Company XIV could get away with a "Cinderella" that boasts a boozing, gender-bending stepmother (deliciously played by Davon Rainey), a fairy godmother (Katrina Cunningham) who shares a slightly-more-than-familial embrace with Cinderella and chiseled chorus boys galore. The show's surprises are musical, too, with Patsy Cline, Nicki Minaj and a German-language take on Irving Berlin's "Sisters" incorporated seamlessly into classical selections and even opera.
The most striking visual, appropriately, is when Cinderella and her prince, both clad in G-strings and little else, mount an aerial ring for a sexy, "Cirque du Soleil"-style rendezvous. It may not be the ending you envisioned as a child, but we can safely assume it was a happy one, nonetheless.
Company XIV's "Cinderella" plays at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York through Nov. 15. Head here for more details.
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