Cinderella at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre – sweet & charming

Cinderella in ball gown
Cinderella at BDT. Photo credit: Glenn Ross Photography (

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre (BDT) will always have a special place in my heart because it is the place where I was first introduced to dinner theater. Every show I’ve seen at this venue has been well-done and I’ll never forget their first production of “Chicago.” It will go down in history as my all-time favorite dinner theater experience.

BDT is a gem of a venue. The intimate size means that most of the seats have an unobstructed view. There is a live band above the stage and as is customary at a dinner theater, many of the cast members also act as the wait staff during the meal.

We hadn’t been to BDT in number of seasons, so we were surprised to see a new dinner menu, and while the famous chicken cordon bleu is still available, there are quite a few more options than there have been in the past.

We started with the hummus appetizer plate and drinks. The plate was hearty and included pita chips, veggies and lots of olives. The new menu has a variety of fancy margaritas, and my husband got a top shelf concoction that tasted like summer. I ordered the barbecue chicken salad, while Ryan opted for the barbecue beef open face sandwich.

We had a good laugh with our waitress over the fact that if you order salad as your main course you still receive the small side salad prior to your meal. It’s a good thing I like lettuce. The barbecue salad was huge and tasty and I would order it again.

The meat on Ryan’s sandwich was delectable, but the bread was as crusty as a crouton, so he was a little disappointed. Our dessert, however, made up for it. We ordered the banana chocolate chips bread pudding- a dessert fit for royalty.

Cinderella singing
Photo credit: Glenn Ross Photography (

The story is well-known; Cinderella is the mistreated stepdaughter of a nasty woman who has two equally nasty daughters. When the King and Queen throw a ball to find their son a wife the magic happens, and Cinderella’s life is changed forever.

This production is unique for several reasons. Jenna Bainbridge, who portrays Cinderella, was discovered by the BDT’s artistic director/producer, Michael J. Duran, while she was performing with the Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League. At just 18-months of age, Bainbridge suffered a spinal cord injury and has a visible “gait” to her walk.

With her sweet voice and an effervescent innocence, Bainbridge’s handicap only adds to the charm of this play. On a personal note, I think this production provides a neat opportunity for parents to talk to their children about physical handicaps, and for children to see someone with a handicap who is the star on stage.

Cinderella the ugly stepsisters
The ugly stepsisters. Photo credit: Glenn Ross Photography (

It seems that nearly every play I have seen lately has had a scene stealer, and “Cinderella” has two. I don’t want to give too much away here, but let’s just say the ugly stepsisters have large Adam apples and really big feet. You do the math. The energy of these two actors is boundless and I laughed so hard I cried – partly at the sisters and partly because a little boy in the audience was cackling so loudly during the shoe fitting scene.

This show is absolutely darling. The BDT’s production of “Cinderella” is sweet and funny, and ideal for children. I dare say this one would be a perfect outing for the grandparents and grandkids.

“Cinderella” at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre  plays through September 1, 2012. Also, family-four packs are currently available for just $25/ticket. For tickets go to You can also join them on Facebook here.

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