Glass Mind Theatre explores fairy tale roots, resonances in 'Adapting Cinderella'
A bunch of them are being dissected over at Center Stage in a production of the potent Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods."
One story in particular, that of the abused young woman who loses a slipper and gains a nobleman, has caught the fancy of Glass Mind Theatre, one of the city's ambitious ensemble companies.
"Adapting Cinderella," created by members of the troupe over the past several months, seeks to figure out what all this "once upon a time" and "happily ever after" stuff came from, why we continue to hold onto such notions, why we still wait for a prince or princess.
Other questions include why we don't know enough about the sisters or the witches in these stories ("The Wiz," needless to say, springs from the same sort of questioning). More contemporary matters of bullying, sexuality and ethics also work their way into the play, however briefly.
The 90-minute production at Load of Fun, guided by Glass Mind's founding artistic director Andrew Peters, doesn't ...
Framing the play are scenes in a subway station, where ordinary folks deal with ordinary problems while waiting or panhandling. These scenes contain some of the best writing, by turns comic and bittersweet.
The action dissolves periodically into Cinderella-like stories from ancient times, one of Chinese origin, the other Egyptian. If the linkage with the folks back on the subway platform is a bit of a stretch at times, themes of cruelty, magic and unexpected love certainly ring a bell.
The ensemble -- everyone takes on multiple assignments -- does generally proficient work.
Among those making the strongest impressions are Sarah Ford Gormana, who reveals some serious pipes as the subway singer in an effective prelude to the play; Alex Scally, as a homeless man; Peter Blaine, who provides the narrative thread; and Elizabeth Galuardi, as the hapless Rhodopis in the Egyptian sequence.
A major asset in the bare-bones production is the classy, vividly atmospheric sound design by Andrew Porter.
PHOTO BY BRITT OLSEN-ECKER PHOTOGRAPHY