Synopsis of Michael Pink's Cinderella

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Prologue
Cinderella and her father stand mourning at her mother's grave under the imposing presence of her soon-to-be stepmother and stepsisters. Above them appears the spirit of Cinderella's mother, ever-present, watching over her.

Act I
Cinderella is miserable at home with her newly-formed family. Her stepmother and stepsisters have ostracized her and demoted her to a servant. Her father tries to object but is overpowered by the threesome. Cinderella’s only friend is the houseboy, Jack, who unbeknownst to her is her guardian angel. Jack cheers Cinderella with the gift of a bird in a beautiful cage. He tells Cinderella that like her, the bird is captive but longs to be free, and assures her that her mother’s spirit is watching over her.

Excitement fills the household when the herald arrives with invitations to the Prince's ball for everyone, except Cinderella. The stepmother sends for dressmakers, milliners, wig and shoe makers. Alone again, Cinderella takes out a simple but beautiful dress, a gift from her mother, and imagines what it would be like to go to the ball. Jack enters with the dancing master and violinist. Cinderella asks if she too may go to the ball. Her stepmother asks what she would wear and Cinderella shows her the simple dress, which the stepsisters tear to pieces.

The spirit of Cinderella’s mother appears and this time Cinderella sees her. Confused and enchanted, she follows her mother's spirit through the fireplace into a magically enchanted garden. Cinderella gazes in awe as Jack and the spirits of the garden bring her glass slippers, a beautiful ball gown, four white mice and a pumpkin, which are transformed into a carriage with a team of horses, ready to whisk her away to the ball. Her mother warns Cinderella to be home by midnight otherwise all the magic will disappear and sends her to the Ball.

Act II
Colors swirl and cheer abounds at the Prince’s ball. The Prince makes his royal entrance and Cinderella’s stepmother wastes no time introducing him to her daughters in hopes he will make one of them his princess. Each stepsister attempts to impress the Prince with a dance, but the Prince is mesmerized the moment he sees Cinderella. Spellbound, the two dance together.

The Prince gives all of his guests the traditional gift of an orange before he and Cinderella dance alone in the palace ballroom. The clock strikes midnight. Remembering her mother’s warning, Cinderella dashes out of the ballroom, leaving the Prince only a glass slipper to find her.

Act III
The Prince scours the kingdom in search of Cinderella. Hopeful maidens try on the slipper, all unsuccessfully and the Prince loses hope of ever finding the beauty he met at his ball.

Meanwhile, Cinderella is still asleep with her head in her mother’s lap. She awakens and reminisces on her wonderful evening dancing with the Prince. Jack enters and the three celebrate Cinderella’s happiness. She produces the single glass slipper, her one memento from that magical evening. The stepsisters enter, one feeling a little worse for wear, and argue about who the Prince liked better. Cinderella accidentally gets between them and is attacked. Surprisingly, she fights back but is punished when her stepmother arrives. Her father stands helpless. The doorbell rings and the herald announces the arrival of the Prince. Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters warmly greet him. Each stepsister tries on the glass slipper. When it fits neither sister Cinderella reveals her matching slipper. The Prince has found his love. Cinderella forgives her stepmother and sisters and reassures her father of her love. Cinderella and the Prince live happily ever after.