Tag Archives: Cinderella Confidential

Blogging, bathrooms and bad manners…

Is it possible that there’s such a thing as too much happiness?

I had to wonder when I showed up at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts last night expecting to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company, only to learn they are performing next Wednesday and Thursday night. Could it be that my performing arts plate is a tad too full?

Dance one night, music the next, and theater after that. I’m a glass half full (or more than half full) kind of a gal. So I choose to think of this as a welcome chance to give you a week’s notice that these exquisite dancers are coming to town. My “oops” can be your opportunity. Tonight I have tickets for Playing for Change at Mesa Arts Center. So if you run into me at Starbucks, be gracious and diplomatically point me east.

I’m still adjusting to the fast-paced nightlife of my new gig. My evenings used to be punctuated by lesser moments.

Take last night, for example. I found myself marveling at a remodeled bathroom. I headed to the ladies’ room at Stagebrush Theatre in Scottsdale as I waited for Lizabeth to wrap an Oliver rehearsal. (The windows are still covered with adorable crayon-colored shoes from the Cookie Company run of Cinderella Confidential!)

You don’t have to hit a new show every night to know about Valley bathrooms and the performing arts scene. I’ve powdered my nose in closets, in basements, in pretty-darn-close-to-alleyways and more. Some of you might be thinking: That explains a lot. Be nice.

I’ve heard men whine about a line I can count with one hand (unlike the ladies room line, which requires a calculator). I’ve seen pregnant women barter for a better place in line (been there, done that). And I’ve seen some other things that I’d just as soon not share.

But last night I felt like Aida and Elle Woods all wrapped into one. Subtle grey tones. Elegant tile. Soap dispensers that rival my best lighting at home. I was in the new and improved Stagebrush Theatre, which is undergoing all kinds of improvements. Finally someone had the good sense to start with the ladies room. Other improvements—even tasteful landscaping—are on their way.

No matter. I will be fixated inside the ladies room by lighting that makes me look less than a century old. (If you’ve seen my Gammage Goer picture on the ASU Gammage website, you know just how priceless that kind of lighting can be.)

It occurred to us as we drove home that a blog devoted entirely to bathrooms might be too much. But what to blog about instead? Lizabeth suggested theater etiquette or, to be more exact, bad manners. So let’s riff with that. And please chime in below with a comment if you have a particular horror story (or a beautiful bathroom find) to share.

Lest you think I’m a real meanie for suggesting people leave their audible jewelry (oh trust me, we’ve heard some doozies) and Frito Lays at home, we’ll share these thoughts with a bit of whimsy ala some of our favorite shows. (I know, more made up spelling—but it’s my birthday, so let me have a bit of fun here. Plus, I don’t spell check on holidays.)

Les Miserables: Fond as we are of Les Mis, we don’t want to “hear the people sing” as your cellular phone ringtone.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Let younger audience members know ahead of time that Joseph is the one in the coat. (If you have to whisper who is doing what during the show, you didn’t do your homework.)

A Chorus Line: Love those kicks (I could do them 30 birthdays ago), but we’re less enamored with kicks that nail the back of our theater seats. (This is where Chyro Arts Venue, with their suave sofa seating, has a distinct advantage.)

Rent:  Mark does all the filming for this one. I prefer his work to patrons furiously photographing or filming with devices like Flickr. Yes—the rest of us can see you and your bright shiny objects.

The Lion King: These performers know how to make a grand entrance. But unless you have a massive wing span or walk on gigantic stilts, your fellow patrons would prefer you take your seat before the curtain opens.

South Pacific: Enchanted evenings rarely start with high-fashion flip flops.  Unless you’ve just come from trying to wash a man right out of your hair, leave the island footwear at home.

Spring Awakening. If we wanted to watch young lovers neck, we’d sit front and center for the swing scene. When we’re at other shows, we can live without all that audience-member participation.

I’ll give it a rest now, since I have a full day of blogging business ahead of me. (I reserve the right to add more tips and quips as the day unfolds.) I’ll be writing a review of the Disney movie A Christmas Carol, which Christopher tagged along to see with me at Harkins Shea 14 yesterday (and adding some tips for where to see live versions of the Christmas classic this holiday season). I’ll be brushing up on my modern dance FAQs to prepare for next week’s review of the Paul Taylor Dance Company (and compiling a list of local modern dance resources to share with you as well).

I’ll also be doing a couple of interviews—one with a cast member from Little House on the Prairie, which is coming to ASU Gammage in early December as part of the Broadway Across America-Arizona series, and another with Bobb Cooper, producing artistic director for Valley Youth Theatre. Stay tuned for future blogs featuring tips for young performers from these and other pros.

I’m off to Starbucks to ponder which beans would best bolster the flavor of my birthday cake.


Note: If you happen upon my husband today, point him in the direction of Essence Bakery (near Childsplay’s Campus of Imagination and Wonder) or Arcadia Farms (near Stagebrush Theatre). Their desserts are to die for.


Cookies, crayons and Cinderella

“I had a mouse once. I named it Annette Funicello.” I may have embarrassed myself over this one. Friday night I enjoyed opening night of Cookie Company’s “Cinderella Confidential,” their first production at the historic Stagebrush Theatre in Old Town Scottsdale.

Cookie Company's "Cinderella Confidential"

From left: Kristin Hailstone as Deb Jabber, Daniel Cardenas as Sonny Glamour, Brianna Quijada as Cinderella. Photo by Laura Durant.

I let out more than a few hearty laughs (some might consider them roars—even snorts) when the actors delivered this and other lines amidst a flurry of physical comedy and costumes ala Mardi Gras. I wasn’t alone. On the giggle-o-meter, this show clearly hit 5 stars with kids and grown-ups alike.

It’s the best type of family entertainment. Plenty for mom and dad to enjoy and plenty for kids to love too. “I’m a reporter,” quips one of the characters. Another replies, “I thought you said you weren’t a puppet.” And at another point in the show: “This woman is the love of my life,” exclaims the prince, “at least for now.”

I admit the lines lose something in translation. So take in the show for yourself. It plays Oct. 25th and Oct. 31st-Nov. 1st and tickets are just $15 each. You can learn more at cookiecompany.org. Elfin sweatshop humor. Royalty sporting galoshes. Free milk and cookies after the show. And autograph signing with the cast. What’s not to love?

Stagebrush Theatre holds a special place in my heart. My two daughters each performed there with Greasepaint Youtheatre during their early elementary school years. I wondered, as young viewers came through the lobby in their princess dresses and crowns, how many of them I might be watching on stage one day. (And never fear. Plenty of princes came for the show too. I worked a volunteer table of coloring crafts, and dads decorated some of the finest shoes.)

Volunteering can tell you a lot about an organization. I’ve been really impressed with the organization and communication in all my volunteer experiences with Phoenix Theatre. Tomorrow I get promoted from crafts table diva to storyteller, so let’s hope I rise to the occasion. I feel a pink feather boa coming on but suspect I will cop out with jeans and a tasteful tee.

I met some really warm, genuine people at my little crafts station—including a Raising Arizona Kids magazine subscriber who does music therapy (more on that in a future blog). She told me about a lovely wine bar located right behind the theater (within walking distance for adult patrons but not too close for the younger set). It’s called Su Vino Winery. I usually hit Sugar Bowl on Scottsdale Rd. après-Stagebrush, but I’m always thrilled to learn of other options. Man cannot live on ice cream alone (but you wouldn’t have wanted to tell my mother that).

Before I sign off, let me leave you with some Cinderella trivia I gleaned from a map and display in the Stagebrush Theatre lobby: Cinderella is one of the oldest fairy tales in the world—about 1,160 years old. You can proudly tell your children that it is even older than you are.

Check out the display yourself and learn what makes the Native American version of Cinderella unique, the country where the original story began, and the origin of the first written version—plus a bit about the original woman with the lost shoe. (I always thought it was me.)

I like to learn. I love to laugh. I got it all Friday night (in one hour, no less). I’d have enjoyed it even without the crayons and free cookies…


Coming soon: The sparkle returns—Kristin Chenoweth’s performance at ARTrageous to help celebrate the grand opening of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts newly remodeled Virginia G. Piper Theater.

The following is a Cinderella Confidential review just submitted by Riley, a 3rd grader, who attended the show:

My favorite part of the play was the beginning because of the fake, huge t.v. and the two reporters. One reporter was a “Glitter” reporter and the other was an “Information” reporter. The play was very hilarious. The characters made me laugh. The prince was so funny and playful. I had one encounter with the prince and two encounters with the boy reporter. This story is different from the storybook Cinderella because Pinnochio and Jack are in it. I recommend coming early to get good seats. It’s very nice for kids. At the end of the play, we got milk and cookies. We even had a chance to take pictures and get autographs from the cast. I would go again to see the same play.

(Riley: I love the fact that you are so concise and use examples and descriptions. Thanks for sharing this. Keep writing! And let us know if you ever decide to audition and do a show. We’d love to come see you perform! –Lynn)