(HOBOKEN, NJ) -- Kid’s theater with a positive message is amazing. In the hands of the incredible Hudson Theater Ensemble’s Silly on Sixth Street, children’s theater is a passionate alchemy of creativity and craftiness to be treasured. The company’s new production of “Cinderella Cinderalla” twists the tale just enough to be recognizable and palatably entertaining for children of all ages.
Here Cinderella (Leah Sayad) has a splendid soprano voice yet is at the beck and call of two mean, vain sisters (Nicole D’Onofrio, Nannette M. Matos). The sisters can’t do a thing for themselves except put everyone else down while also worrying about their weight and looks. Cinderella is kind to everyone – especially her loyal dog Tom (Richard Dwyer). Neighbor (Laura DiCerto) is equally vain and anxious to meet a man. Thankfully the herald (Howard Richman) announces the Prince’s (Vincent Bivona) ball. Soon enough with the not quite always executed right the first time magic of the fairy godmother (Florence Pape), Cinderella impresses at the ball, loses the shoe, and gets the man.
Along the way the cast sings, dances, and enchants. Youngsters beconed to try on the magical shoe and were enthralled with the story and cast.
Everyone lends a welcome, non-patronizing touch to their roles and stands out by creating credible engaging characters. Sayad’s voice is liltingly beautiful. D’Onofrio and Matos bring humor to the villains and the right touch of sass. DiCerto is flirty and smooth. Pape’s godmother is cute but tough – hitting the themes of the story – courage – splendidly. Richman is paternal and warm – charming the ladies. Bivona brings welcome humor to the uncertain prince. And Dwyer’s dog is loyal and essential comic relief.
Under the direction of Howard Richman this is a strong production. It is never less than engaging, charming, with the message going down with a healthy dose of sugar. Silly on Sixth has a winner that appeals to its young audience altogether too apt to lean into an app or the gnarly jittery entertainment found on television. “Cinderella, Cinderalla” and Silly on Sixth are a welcome respite and engaging introduction to theater for kids as young as three.
The production concludes sadly on Sunday, November 1st. Final performances are at at 11am and 1pm. For more information on the Hudson Theatre Ensemble visit http://hudsontheatreensemble.com