Cinderella Afterparty (Poetry in Motion) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Once upon a time, that girl Cinderella married the Prince, shacked up with him in his big castle while owning a series of other houses out in the country, employed a massive staff that included dress-makers, hairstylists, makeup artists, masseuses, plastic surgeons, cooks, and drivers – and left her two stepsisters and stepmother in the dust. And then what happened?

Ivana Matuzovic explores what lies in Happily Ever After for both Cinderella and her stepfamily in Cinderella Afterparty, an innovative spoken word and movement performance directed by Andreja Kovac.

The performance is done on the set at the Theatre Passe Muraillle Backspace (bring water, it’s hot in there). The set is small and has three chairs, multiple sets of shoes, a creepy white skeletal doll puppet, and selective lighting.

The cast is one, Ivana Matuzovic, who combines spoken word, sound and expression with deliberate movement – something akin to a dance – to deliver the story. She uses the shoes by hand clapping them across the stage to differ between Stepsister One, Stepsister Two, Stepmother and Prince. Cinderella is played by a Corpse Bride-like doll that she also puppeteers.

It’s unexpected – in between whispers, yelps, screeches, chair scraping, and stomping, Ivana tells the story of societal demands on a young girl tossed into the media eye. Her stepsisters and stepmother are left to take care of the chores and grunt work Miss Cinder Soot left behind while they read and watch the dazzling life that is now hers.

So what happened to the ethereal Cinderella? What became of her jealous step-family? Did Cinderella embrace her life of publicity and royalty or did she pawn her ring and run off to Vegas?

I enjoyed the show, once I was able to get into the groove of the performance. My friend Kawai who accompanied me is still on the fence. It’s not a straightforward show that allows for easy understanding, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to find a common thread to follow.

She stumbles through the introduction, flitting from character to character (shoe set to shoe set) and it’s hard to follow along. What’s impressive is the dedication towards choreography and scripting – each shift of her foot, twitch of her head, creak and whisper is meticulous and deliberate.

For 40 minutes of something chaotic yet well-structured and off the beaten path, check out Cinderella Afterparty.

Details

Cinderella Afterparty is playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille backspace (16 Ryerson Ave. at Queen and Bathurst) on July 8 at 10 pm, July 9 at 5 pm, July 10 at 4:30 pm, July 12 at 3:15 pm, July 13 at 1:15 pm, July 14 at 8 pm, July 15 at 3:30 pm, and July 16 at 2:45 pm.
– Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only.
– Late comers will not be permitted.
– Tickets are also available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 or in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts (736 Bathurst St). Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee.
– Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.