Cinderella With a Twist

By Christina Elston

los angeles events

Alex Newell, left, is the Fairy God Person to Lauren Taylor’s Cinderella in the Panto at the Playhouse production of “A Cinderella Christmas.” Morgan Fairchild, at right, plays the evil Baroness Hardup. PHOTO COURTESY LYTHGOE FAMILY PRODUCTIONS

We all know the story of the girl who went to the ball, lost her glass slipper and found her prince. For its holiday Panto at the Playhouse production, the Pasadena Playhouse is putting a holiday spin on the tale and calling it “A Cinderella Christmas.”

To play Cinderella, they’ve tapped Lauren Taylor of the Disney Channel’s “Best Friends Whenever.” “I grew up, of course, idolizing Cinderella,” says Taylor, who admits to dressing as the princess for Halloween four years in a row as a child.

Alex Newell of TV’s “Glee,” on the other hand, grew up on the Whitney Houston and Brandi version of “Cinderella” and plans to bring plenty of personality to his role as Fairy God Person. “The story’s magical, the role is magical,” Newell says. “I think there should just be glitter bombs going off every time I walk on stage.”

Taylor and Newell are both excited about their costuming for the show (which also stars Morgan Fairchild as Baroness Hardup), though they have different takes on functionality. “I hope they’re comfortable,” Taylor says of her glass slippers. Newell, meanwhile, hopes his costume is the opposite. “If it’s too comfortable, I might just steal it and wear it around the house,” he laughs.

Pop tunes are another way Panto productions stand out. Taylor is looking forward to the theatrical twist they’re putting on Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” saying, “I love that song and I think it’s going to be so cute.” And Newell will be channeling Whitney Houston when he performs her song, “When You Believe.”

Whatever your musical tastes, Taylor promises the show will have something for everyone. And Newell says that, given all that’s going on in the world, it’s a great opportunity to take a break for a little fun and magic. “I think that’s what we need,” he says, “especially during the holiday season.”

The show will run Dec. 8-Jan. 8 and tickets are available at

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