Hip Hop Cinderella – A Galactic Twist on a Classic! Show Review by Antonia Kasper Hinman


“Follow your dreams” doesn’t necessarily mean find a rich man or marry a Prince Charming. This refreshing rendition of Cinderella, Hip Hop Cinderella (book by Scott Elmegreen, Music & Lyrics by Rona Siddiqui) is set in a clever futuristic world complete with holograms and spaceships. The hook? The galaxy has lost its groove, so the prince (John El-Jor) hosts a Hip Hop Ball for a rap competition to help energize and unite the cosmos inhabitants.

(Left to right: Jeremiah Garcia (Runka) and Brittany Nicole Williams (Cinderella) (Photo Credit: Russ Rowland)

Cinderella’s robot pal Runka (played by Jeremiah Garcia) persuades Cinderella (powerful singer Brittany Nicole Williams) to get “Out of the Basement” with doldrum chores and off of Planet Centra to compete in a rap contest at the Prince’s Galactic Hip Hop Ball.  Runka teleports Cinderella as a transformed “Ella C” fully accessorized with sunglasses and golden garb complete with high tops to compete in the singing contest. Will Ella C out rap her evil stepmother Lady Zurka (played by the hilarious scene stealer Lyn Philistine) and her stepsisters Zig (Alondra Belen) and Zag (MaddieRobert)?  The jealous sisters literally put the “step” in “sisters” as they comically make entrances hilariously hopping stairs together.

(Left to right: Maddie Rober (Zag) Lyn Philistine (Lady Zurka) and Alondra Belen (Zig) Photo Credit: Russ Rowland)

Ella C outshines everyone at the ball but for a moment gets sucked into self-serving fame forgetting her genuine sweet self. Mirroring the classic tale, Runka teleports her back to her basement minus one golden sneaker. Back at home, Ella C realizes her true self and that the prince’s purpose wasn’t just for fame and fortune but a way for unity in the galaxy. The ending is uniquely happy: the stepmother and sisters are forgiven by Cinderella and all change to kinder versions of their previous selves.

(Left to right:  JEREMIAH GARCIA (Runka) BRITTANY NICOLE WILLIAMS (Cinderella) JOHN EL-JOR (Prince), ALONDRA BELEN (Zig), MADDIE ROBERT (Zag), LYN PHILISTINE (Lady Zurka)  (Photo Credit: Russ Rowland)


What makes this show different and interesting are the special effects of the actors live streaming with a selfie stick colorfully projected on the back wall which brings the historical tale into a current and futuristic time (Brad Peterson- Projection Design) and outstanding lighting design by Jason Kantrowitz. The set (Riw Rakkulchon) costumes (Saawan Tiwari) and staging (Christopher Scott) was all memorable and fun! What really makes this show lively and timely is the technological twist and the diversity of the cast. AMAS Musical Theatre Company (Donna Trinkoff- Artistic Director) deserves mention in recognizing the need for bringing a classic fairy tale with a fresh message celebrating believing in oneself, cultural equity and minority representation in our youth.  

This production at The New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street is not only the perfect length (50 minutes) for those with young children (complete with a craft area and kid-friendly snack bar) but also for the entire family! Families with kids should quickly hop on over to Hip Hop Cinderella before closing soon!  Only 4 more shows remaining:  Sat Feb 25 and Sun Feb 26th (12pm & 5pm showtimes). This “once upon a time” love story is not about marriage but love and belief in oneself and others.

And if someone’s destiny is wearing gold high-tops, belting out rap tunes, forgiving your family and reaching for the moon instead of wearing fancy slippers, marrying a Prince, forgetting your family and residing in a kingdom – then go for it! If the shoe fits YOU – then wear it!  And this production wears it well!

For Tickets: https://www.newvictory.org/tickets-and-events/2223-live-performance-hip-hop-cinderella/



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