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Friday, December 26, 2014

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A ‘ratical’ re-telling of Cinderella

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Amy Lee

Winnipeg-born actress Amy Lee plays Claws, a rat, in the North American premiere of Cinderella (a RATical retelling), the latest offering from Young People’s Theatre (YPT) running on the Mainstage until Dec.30

This version of Cinderella, written by Mike Kenny (who wrote The Railway Children), is described as fun-filled romp filled with witty songs, fun dancing and inventive storytelling. 

Winnipeg-born actress Amy Lee plays Claws, a rat, in the North American premiere of Cinderella (a RATical retelling), the latest offering from Young People’s Theatre (YPT) running on the Mainstage until Dec.30

This version of Cinderella, written by Mike Kenny (who wrote The Railway Children), is described as fun-filled romp filled with witty songs, fun dancing and inventive storytelling. 

“It is a really wonderful adaptation. I love the modern and unique take on it,” explains Lee.  “It is told from the perspective of the rats (Ears, Teeth, Claws, Tail and Whiskers).  They develop a relationship with Cinderella. Cinderella is bullied by her stepsisters and her stepmother and she finds some comfort in befriending the rats.  It helps her get through it.”

Lee says that in this adaptation Cinderella is very independent of mind and spirit, she’s not the typical princess who needs to be saved. 

“She’s given an opportunity to make a better life for herself and she does.  At the core of the story is the hope that things will get better and to be active in the pursuit of making your circumstances better,” Lee says. 

“In a way it is a coming of age story too, because as a child it’s hard to move beyond your circumstances but as you grow up you are able to find ways to do that.”

Lee’s first musical was A Pocket Full of Dreams, a compilation of musicals, at the Ramah Hebrew School in Winnipeg while in Grade 4.  She’s since graced the YPT stage as Hana Brady in Hana’s Suitcase and played all of the characters in The Invisible Girl.  She recently completed the short film Pas de Trois which is scheduled to air on Bravo.  

In the spring she’ll become a resident artist educator with YPT, and says that for her, that YPT is a magical place and the more she can be there the happier she is.

Lee said Cinderella is a lot of fun for kids and adults.

“Kids will love it because the rats are so silly and the stepmother and stepsisters are so over the top, but still rooted characters.  I think adults will love it too because it is quite witty and intelligent in its humour with fantastic original music.”

Lee also plays one of the evil stepsisters, Thatun, opposite the other sister named Thisun.  The production is directed by Allen MacInnis. Lee’s joined on the stage by fellow actors Matt Brown, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Deann deGruijter, Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Élodie Gillett and Richard Lee.

For more information on Cinderella (a RATical retelling) online, visit: youngpeoplestheatre.ca, for tickets call the Box Office at: 416.862.2222.

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