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Theater for Young America presents children's classic, 'Cinderella'

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A live action production of one of childhood’s most favorite fairy tales comes to Kansas City’s historic Union Station and to the H&R Block City Stage when Theatre for Young America presents “Cinderella,” a musical play in the English Pantomime style, June 9 through 28.

May 20, Theater for Young America explained that in their version, authors Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy adapt the Charles Perrault French tale with lively music and dance, and lots of humor. This “Cinderella” features the Stepmother and her daughters Henrietta and Gertrude, a stumbling King Darling the Third and his court, a lovely Prince Charming, Cinderella, and of course a magical Fairy Godmother. To help the Fairy Godmother, she employs her sprite attendants to move the play to its happy ending.

Theatre for Young America said that this version of this fairy tale was first performed by the famous Prince Street Players in 1965 in New York City.

Hanna Freeman plays Cinderella and Wil Andrews-Weiss portrays Prince Charming. Parry Luellen plays King Darling and Nicole Santorella portrays the ambitious Stepmother. Cinderella’s selfish step-sisters, come to life via Eric Johansen and Mike Ott. Lena Andrews will play the magical Fairy Godmother. Eight students from the TYA acting classes play sprites and royal guards.

According to TYA, the first story version of a Cinderella type story appeared in China in 860 A. D. in a book called Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Tuan Ch’eng-Shih. Cinderella’s Chinese name was Yeh-Shen. In this story, the bones of a pet fish, killed by the stepmother, becomes a sort of fairy godmother. The magical fish bones provide her with tiny golden shoes. Cinderella, Yeh-Shen, has the smallest feet in the whole land, which was an important aspect of beauty in the Chinese culture. She loses a shoe, which a warlord finds, and vows that he will find her and marry her.

A more familiar version is the Italian version credited to Italian storyteller Giambattista Basile in 1634, TYA said. By 1697, the story of "Cinderella" made its way to France and was adapted by French writer Charles Perrault, who introduced the glass slipper, the fairy godmother, and the pumpkin carriage.

Performance Schedule for “Cinderella”: June 6, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27 at 10 a.m.; June 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 at noon; June 14, 21, 28 at 2 p.m.; and June 27 at 7 p.m.

Single tickets and group reservations may be purchased online at www.unionstation.org or by calling Union Station at 816.460.2020, or Theatre for Young America at 816.460.2083. The single ticket price is $9. Groups of 15 or more are $5.50 per person with a reservation. Season tickets are available at www.tya.org or by calling 816.460.2083.

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