In this production the fairy godmother turns out to be the household’s robust cook, Giselle (Brianna Hurley), who reassures Cinderella that it will be easy to transform the pumpkin and mice. “Nadine used to be a chicken,” she confides. The servant Nadine (Stefanie Smith, the show’s choreographer) then reveals feathered pantaloons, doing the best hen’s strut I’ve seen from a nonwinged creature.
At this point the hourlong show, directed by Dustin Cross, acquires its own magic. Brenda Bell, who wrote the book and lyrics, provides several wry moments, including the return of the mean but not inhuman stepsisters (Freddi Mack and Danielle Beckmann), who complain that they were forced to walk home from the ball when a strange mess of smashed pumpkin pieces caused their coach to run off the road.
Michael Sgouros, a percussionist who collaborated with Emily, his 12-year-old daughter, on the score, shows the versatility of his family of instruments, which give a world-music flavor to the later scenes. In the number “I Wish,” Giselle and Cinderella, played with sincerity but no saccharine by Carly Howard (above), use kitchen implements to join the musicians, and in “Off to the Ball,” drumbeats set up a comical disco diva routine in which the stepmother (Amanda Salvatore) and her daughters vogue, pausing intermittently to utter something pretentious.
Like all Literally Alive productions, “Cinderella” begins with an hourlong workshop to explore the story and make a take-home craft. Here the children create pumpkins and wands. Their wands are usually far more fairylike than the earthy Giselle’s: hers is a wooden spoon. (Saturdays and Sundays, workshop at 10 a.m., and show at 11, through April 25 at the Players Theater, 115 Macdougal Street, near West Third Street, Greenwich Village, 212-352-3101, literallyalive.com; $25 to $40, including workshop. No show this Sunday.)
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