Families will be able to experience three different sides of one of the most famed fairy tales of all time this weekend as Steamer No. 10 Theatre presents a production of Cinderella Tales at Saratoga Arts Center on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Theatregoers will get a chance to experience three versions of the classic story, each with different aspects, with four actors, Joy Kaleel, Jeffrey Krisanda, Bianca Stimey and Tiesha Grant, playing multiple roles.
The first version of Cinderella to be presented is "African Cinderella," a version set in Africa where the famed Fairy Godmother is replaced with a talking frog, who provides the cruelly-treated Cinderella with a dress and slippers to attend a tribal spring festival, where she has a fateful meeting with the chief's son. The second story is "The Glass Slipper" which is the European version most people are familiar with, with the fairy godmother, escaping the ball at midnight, and titular footwear left intact. The roles are reversed in the final tale, "Billy Beg and the Bull," an Irish variation where a young prince meets a magical talking bull who gives him his tail. Using the tail as a weapon, he kills both an evil ogre, who possesses a pair of magic boots, and a powerful dragon, which holds captive a beautiful princess " losing one of his boots in the process. The princess discovers the boot, and uses it to find the boy who saved her.
Steamer No. 10 Theatre, based in Albany, has long been one of the area's premiere companies for children's theatre, with an emphasis on education as well as entertainment. According to the theater company, the goal with "Cinderella Tales" is not only to entertain, but also to teach children and even adults about the many different versions of the legend. "It's a great hour of entertainment," said Associate Director Rebecca Boswell. "The actors have a lot of heart and you can tell they really enjoy doing this."