Girl power in Ohio Shakespeare’s ‘Cinderella’ a modern edge to classic

Robert Hundley
Maya Nicholson stars as Cinderella and Joe Pine as Prince Christopher in Ohio Shakespeare Festival's holiday musical.

For Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Cinderella,” forget the preconceived notions about this girl being the princessy type.

In this production of the musical, Maya Nicholson’s Cinderella feels much more like a real girl, one who isn’t necessarily the picture of grace during the big reveal for her ballgown, but who jumps up and down with joy when it happens. And that makes the moment all the more exciting for folks in the audience.

In this Akron company’s production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, the Fairy Godmother is a tattooed badass who, rather than looking typically fairy-like, appears mythological and sings with throaty alto power. She also has a strong message for young girls in the audience: When Cinderella says she’s nervous about how she’ll fit in at the ball, the Fairy Godmother responds by saying emphatically saying she never cared much about fitting in.

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