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Company XIV and the World Premier of Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella” | Sept. 22 – Nov. 15, 2015….

October 3, 2015
Company XIV in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Mark Shelby Perry

Company XIV’s Allison Ulrich & Davon Rainey in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Mark Shelby Perry

So be warned, this is not the Disney version of Cinderella, but rather an adult re-envisioning of the 1697 baroque fairy tale by Charles Perrault. The production is billed as a theater experience, a thrilling fusion of nightlife and theatre with a unique blend of live opera, circus, burlesque, vaudeville, baroque dance and design. Company XIV’s Cinderella was conceived, directed and choreographed by the Drama Desk Award nominee Austin McCormick.

The score is a blend of popular tunes such as Irving Berlin’s Sisters, Daddy by the Andrew Sisters and Lorde’s “Royals” which I pretty sure part of was sung in German. Marcy Richardson gave a brilliant rendition of Faust’s Ah! Je ris de me voir – Allegretto, all the while turning in an upside-down position know in pole dancing the Rainbow Marchenko.

Company XIV’s in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Philip Van Norstand

Company XIV’s Allison Ulrich & Steven Trumon Gray in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Philip Van Norstand

Zane Pihlstrom’s costume and sets just added to the whole. The costumes were sparse, spangled G-strings and corsets, extravagant wigs and the men and women both in baroque style shoes with a pronounced heel. The set itself, while colorful, was minimalist by nature but with just enough oomph to allow your imagination to soar.

Mr. McCormick choreography was thrilling from the get-go. As in most Off-Broadway productions I had assumed there would be some dancing but nothing overly difficult. But the intricacies of the choreography combined with the abilities of these performers made me really sit up and take notice. These were polished professionals with impeccable technique.

Company XIV in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Philip Van Norstand

Company XIV in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Philip Van Norstand

Allison Ulrich gave us a superb performance as the beautiful Cinderella. Ms. Allison is a Juilliard graduate, a former member of Cirque Du Soleil’s Viva Elvis. Another bright presence on stage and who was often just his G-string was Jakob Karr, the runner-up to Russel Ferguson in the 6th season of So You Think You Can Dance. (…FYI, I loved him on SYTYCD and after seeing him perform in person I am somewhat in awe…)

Davon Rainey, one of Company XIV’s founding members, won our hearts as the somewhat lusty and ever-so-evil stepmother. His star quality undeniable, his antics were larger than live and he made sure the entire cast new exactly who the star of the show was. He would sometimes come out of character to remind the performers of anything he felt was lacking in anyway. During a scene where the dancers had gather center stage behind Mr. Rainey and had seemed to have lost focus he had to remind them, “guys, this is the dramatic fall.”

Company XIV’s Steven Trumon Gray & Allison Ulrich in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Philip Van Norstand

Company XIV’s Steven Trumon Gray & Allison Ulrich in Austin McCormick’s “Cinderella.” Photo: Philip Van Norstand

Steven Trumon Gray was the handsome prince, though sadly somewhat flawed. As the evil step-sisters …as well as the rather randy step-mother…tried their best to fool him into believing one of them was the perfect fit for the fabled slipper…well, let’s just say he had to struggle with his libido on more than one occasion….

The pièce de résistance for the evening was the duet between Mr. Gray and Ms. Ulrich. Mr. Gray, a noted aerialist, used a hoop to sweep Ms. Ulrich up and intro his arms. Together, both on the floor and in the air, they melded as one to create sublime imagery.

The world premiere of Cinderella runs from September 22 – November 15 in a limited 8-week engagement. Previews begin September 22 for a September 30 opening.

Company XIV’s 2015-2016 Off-Broadway season will include three adult only shows: the world premiere of Cinderella, a revival of their sexy hit holiday show Nutcracker Rouge, and the world premiere of Snow White, all conceived, directed and choreographed by Drama Desk Award nominee Austin McCormick.

Shows take place at the Minetta Lane Theatre, located at 18 Minetta Lane between MacDougal Street and 6th Avenue in New York City. Performances are Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 5pm. The shows contain partial nudity – 16 & over admitted.

Tickets for Cinderella and Snow White from $40 to $65 with premium and VIP seating from $75 to $105. Tickets for Nutcracker Rouge from $50 to $85 with premium and VIP seating from $100 to $175.

Visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-745-3000.

For info visit CompanyXIV.com.

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