Most little girls dream of becoming a princess. You know, falling in love with prince charming. Living in a great big castle. Having gobs of money to do whatever you please. And, for that very reason, most little girls look up to Cinderella, the original fairy tale character who goes from rags to riches and is swept off her feet by the most handsome man around. It seems like the perfect world when you’re a kid, so why not dream big, right?

Well, dreaming isn’t just for kids! In fact, dreaming keeps the brain young. And, to relive my childhood dream, I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than to go see Cinderella at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University. I saw it a couple of years ago, but knew it wouldn’t be the very same production. It never is! Last time I took my niece, who was 11 at the time. She was definitely not too old for it and we had an absolute blast. This year, it was my 84-year old grandmother’s turn, along with my 65-year old mother! Yup, three generations of us gals, enjoying a fun day out together.

I know my grandmother would love to see other productions at the festival such as “Fiddler on the Roof,” but she just can’t sit that long, so I figured a show that was less than an hour, would be perfect for her. I knew she would love it, and she did, along with everyone else in the audience. In fact, I think the adult guy next to me laughed harder and louder than most of the kids!

When the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival puts on a production, it is always kicked up a notch. This one was no different. They bring current music, technology and life scenarios into play.

My favorite “actress” had to be the Stepmother, who was played by male performer, Mark Marano. He was hilarious! I also loved the King’s Messenger, played by Peter Danelski, and the Chipmunk, played by Dane McMichael. Kudos to all of the actors wittiness and superb acting roles. Our favorite scene was when the entire crew danced to “What does the Fox Say?” The costumes were all creatively designed and the props used were simple, yet they got the point of the story across. The stagecoach was the perfect addition to the ball scene and the chandeliers that fell from the ceiling created a dramatic ambiance.

By far, the best part of the show was seeing the kid’s reactions. The kids are allowed to sit directly on the stage on a carpeted area. There was a lot of interaction between the cast and the audience which made it even more enjoyable for all. Seeing the little girls all decked out in their princess gowns and then being able to get up and dance with the cast for their final number was a sight to see. And, they absolutely loved being able to meet the cast and get autographs in the lobby after the show.

If you’re looking for affordable family entertainment for kids of all ages this summer, you need to head to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Cinderella runs through August 2, and for the adults, there’s still time to see “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Lend Me A Tenor,” “Macbeth,” and “Women of Will.”

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