Review: #CINDERELLA at The Overtime Theater

a new comedy by Jessica Roberts

By: Feb. 20, 2024
Review: #CINDERELLA at The Overtime Theater
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Fairy tales. They’ve drawn audiences’ attention and affection for centuries, Cinderella being one of the most popular. I guess we have the Grimm Brothers and Walt Disney to thank for that. But on opening night of a new adaptation of this story, we can also thank playwright, Jessica Roberts, for the debut of her first full-length play, #Cinderella, at The Overtime Theater.

She wrote the classic Cinderella tale but wrapped it in a twenty-first-century world, where royalty exists in cyberspace rather than elaborate palaces. In fact, the story surrounds Cinderella and her prince both being popular Instagram influencers.

Review: #CINDERELLA at The Overtime Theater Cinderella, or Giselle, as she was called in this adaptation, created an online presence named, “Lady Ella,” who wore colorful wigs and costume glasses, gaining more followers by the day. Allyson Valdez, who played Giselle, had some nice heartfelt moments and really had the audience rooting for her. “Lady Ella” had to hide her influencer status from her evil stepmother and stepsisters, who, like in the classic tale, had her cleaning and serving them non-stop.

Review: #CINDERELLA at The Overtime Theater Katrina, the stepmother, played by Whitney Marlett, plotted her evil schemes as this character always does, and Marlett played a perfect villain. Finn Ralph gave a fun performance as Chloe, the Regina George-esque character, along with her step-sister, Bernadette, played by Darcy Williams, who drew audiences in with her physical comedy and earnest moments.

Review: #CINDERELLA at The Overtime Theater The prince, Henry in this version, had so many followers, he was basically a celebrity, especially with the teenage girl population. His agent, played by Jeffery R. Hensel, brought an opportunity to Henry to start a Netflix series which would catapult his popularity and both of their wallet sizes. Hensel’s comedic timing and believable character made him a clear audience favorite. The only thing missing from the Netflix series was the perfect female co-star, so Henry decided to  throw a masquerade party as a way of finding the perfect girl. Plot sounding familiar? You can imagine how things played out from there, but Roberts wrote plenty of fun surprises and lovable characters to keep the audience members intrigued. I won’t give any of those surprises away!

Review: #CINDERELLA at The Overtime Theater One of those lovable characters was Mercury, played by Javauna Harris. Harris played a new sort of fairy godmother, one that fit in a modern world--one with an online presence. Harris had an unforgettable charisma that made her a highlight of the night! Giselle needed their help, along with her friend, Darcy, played by Jacquelyn Escobedo, who shared a fun on-stage chemistry with Allyson Valdez and whose story got wrapped up in part of the ending surprises. 

Congratulations to Jessica Roberts for creating such a clever adaptation of a beloved fairy tale, and a story that let the audience take a look at the current society, giving us a little bit to reflect on as we left the theater.

Go check out this fun production-it is sure to bring you a happily ever after!