Remember Cinderella? If so, you probably picture memories of the Disney animated classic, complete with friendly mice and a pumpkin that transformed into a carriage. You instinctively start humming “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” or “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
Maybe the Rodgers & Hammerstein versions are lingering in your brain? The 1950s made for television movie starring Julie Andrews was later adapted for the 2013 Broadway stage. Both had a distinctively lush score and a family friendly tone that rightfully merited them “classics.”
None of the above are Company XIV, but that isn’t a bad thing. Or perhaps it is a bad thing—which in turn is a very very good thing.
Let me explain.
Although they share the same source material by Charles Perrault, Company XIV is not abiding by convention when it comes to relaying the tale of the kindly maid who captures the heart of Prince Charming. There are a number of items in Director Austin McCormick’s wheelhouse, but convention is not one of them.
After years of nomadic wandering, McCormick’s company has secured permanent domicile in Bushwick Brooklyn. If you’re a die-hard Manhattanite, unsure of whether it’s worth the trek to an outer borough for yet another avant-garde production that your friends promise is “like, so unbelievably cool,” I can assure you that it is.
Even if you’re familiar with this Burlesque meets Baroque meets Circus meets pasties and Patsy Cline, this is one fairytale worth re-visiting. From the moment you walk into the new performing arts space, the show begins. Dim lights, powdered wigs, bodices, pearls, and fancy ornamentation adorn cast members and bar staff as you take your seat in the large, yet intimate space.
Once the actual performance begins, audiences are immersed in an orgy of talent that slinks and slithers on the stage with awe-inspired moves. Ross and Nicholas Katen—actual twins- add some gender-bending humor as Cinderella’s stepsisters. Storm Marrero is another bad ass standout as the Fairy Godmother. Marrero’s silky and seductive voice is the vocal equivalent to Jacques Torres chocolate.
It’s a thrill to see McCormick’s company in their new digs. Equally as exciting is the buzz that he has stirred. A recent Sunday afternoon performance was nearly sold-out and his late night shows have become quite a hot ticket. There is a bounty of live theater and performance to be had in this town, but you’re not going to see anything nearly as unique and fun as Company XIV’s Cinderella. Just be aware that this is one slipper that should only fit the shoe of an adult.
Company XIV’s Cinderella. Now through June 3rd. 383 Troutman Street, Brooklyn NYC. For tickets and information click here.