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Archive for December 29th, 2015

Cinderella 2015 as performed at the African-American Shakespeare Company

Cinderella 2015 as performed at the African-American Shakespeare Company

Earlier this month – December 19th, to be precise – I took Hil to see a play.  It was a musical production of Cinderella presented by the African-American Shakespeare Company.  The play has been running each Christmas season for over a decade and it is (was) easy to see why it has remained so popular.  It is magical!
I have a friend from work (Todd Risby) who performs in theater around the Bay Area and he’s been after me for a number of years to come see him in one of his productions.  Now, normally I just say no (politely, but firmly)…  I don’t like crowds.  I don’t like travelling in lots of traffic.  And most of all, I hate fighting for parking.  But lately, I’ve been trying to find things for Hil and me to go to so we can share more experiences.  Mainly, this is because although we both have a lot of stuff, we are not really “things” persons.  So, this was to be an early Christmas present.
Todd played two roles in this production (the Duke and Cinderella’s childhood father) and he was very good in both!  It’s funny how we can draw a sense of joy from someone else being up on stage, but I did.  As I watched him all I could think of was how happy I was for him to be living his dream and doing it well!
If you’ve seen the Disney film, you’ve got the gist of the story – pretty young girl, evil step-mother and two step-sisters, prince,  ball, slipper, and all.  Todd told me in advance it would be a musical and that it would be funny (it was).  What he didn’t say was ALL the rest.  This was not just a love story of a princess getting rescued by her prince charming.  It was a story of self-empowerment and self-belief.  And more importantly, it wasn’t only about Cinderella, it was also about the prince.
Now, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably come to realize I’m a big softy – and I unapologetically admit it – I am.  There is a point in the play where the prince and Cinderella stand at opposite ends of the stage and sing (to the audience and facing away from each other) about despairing of ever finding true love and then feeling that now, just maybe……  And I teared up.  I have heard it said that “true” art (music, dance, sculpture, painting or theater) touches you.  Sitting next to my wife of thirty years and remembering back to my own doubts of finding my true love, the performance “touched” me.
I have no idea how many of my readers are in the San Francisco Bay Area, but if you are around in the Christmas season, I highly recommend taking in one of these performances.  As I said above, this is an annual production and well worth taking your daughters or nieces to.  As I’ve stated many times in the past, support your local arts, particularly live performances.  Art makes us feel human.
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On This Day In:
2014 It Lies Ahead…
2013 At Least One Difference
2012 Are We, Are We?
On Not Playing The Game
Scale
2011 Nutcracker And Nooks
Seeing Differences
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