'Cinderella Christmas' back by popular demand


It's back, for a second year, by popular demand.

"When you hear children laugh, that's the greatest thing in the world," said Willard, who plays Cinderella's father in "Cinderella Christmas."

Malibu's Veronica Dunne, who beat out 800 competitors last year, is back at the El Portal Theatre for round two. As a kid, Cinderella was her favorite Disney princess.

"I'm feeling so honored to embody this role model...to all these little girls that are coming to the shows in their costumes. I just want to be that role model for them," said Dunne.

"Cinderella Christmas" is a family show that takes a modern twist on a classic fairytale.

"It's interactive, so the kids are screaming when Cinderella's being mistreated, 'No, no, don't do this,'" said Willard.

Bonnie Lythgoe is the show's director. She loves that this show brings families together in the name of fun.

"You can bring a 3-year-old and a 93-year-old here and it's really funny, because there are some jokes in there that the kids just would not get but the adults are laughing, and so the kids are laughing because they hear their moms and dads laughing," said Lythgoe.

"Cinderella Christmas" is choreographed by "Dancing With The Stars" pro Mark Ballas. It'll be at the El Portal Theatre for a short run beginning Thursday.

"People request of me that I don't be in a show too long. 'Fred, just take short runs, because we love you but enough is enough,'" joked Willard.

The show runs through Jan. 8.

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