Cinderella’s stepsisters aren’t popular characters in Storybookland. They are not nice to sweet Cinderella. They try to wear her shoes and want to steal her boyfriend. And sometimes they’re called the Ugly Stepsisters.
Two new actors take on the roles of Pearl (Kimberly Richardson) and Dorcas (Ashawnti Sakina Ford) in the return of Children’s Theatre Company’s holiday production of “Cinderella,” which opens Saturday. Richardson and Ford helped us get some comments from the stepsisters.
In the latest in our occasional series of chats with stage characters, here’s our Q&A with Pearl and Dorcas:
Q. There must be some really hateful chores you were happy to turn over to Cinderella. What are some of the worst?
Pearl: Plucking Mommy’s nose hairs. Anything toilet adjacent.
Dorcas: Let’s get one thing straight. The work we give to Cindy LaupNOT has nothing to do with hate, period. I think she should be thankful to my family we give her life meaning! What would she do if she wasn’t able to clean my nose or shave my pits?
Q. Why do you want to wear glass shoes? They seem awfully impractical (especially this time of year in Minnesota) – cold, fragile and uncomfortable. Wouldn’t you rather have some toasty Uggs or comfy Crocs?
Pearl: Srsly!? Uggs-ly. Croc-of-what? Comfort and practicality have no place in this fashionista’s vocabulary! As Beyonce says, “Pretty Hurts.”
Dorcas: Listen, If you had a shot at Royalty you’d be sticking your funky foot into a slipper made of glass, too! I don’t appreciate the judgment here at all! Okurrrrrt!
Q. Which of you is the prettiest? Why?
Pearl: Me. Why? Cause of my face. I’m pretty as a pumpkin from my pudgy green toes to my cute lil’ pimples — er, dimples.
Dorcas: Is this a real question? You shouldn’t need to ask since you clearly see that I am more dazzling than a disco ball in a 1980’s prom movie screening at your local dollar theater!
Q. Did you ever play pranks on Cinderella? Which were the funniest (to you)?
Pearl: Oh, we play games … like “Spin the Cin” or “Cindy up the Chimney” or “Ella down a Well-a.” Cinder never win-ders.
Dorcas: Pranks? Do you take me for some kind of cruel antagonist?? I am so misunderstood. Why don’t you ask CindyCruella how she treats me? Sometimes I ask for a hot bath in the morning and Cinderblocks will tell me “But Dorcas, your sausages aren’t quite ready.” Work harder, sis!
Q. In some versions of this story, you’re called the “Ugly Stepsisters.” How do you deal with that?
Pearl: THEY’RE JUST JEALOUS. WHO’S THEY? ALL OF THEM.
Dorcas: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words. … Wait a minute. UGLY???? Liar, liar pants on fire! Those stories are just far from the truth! We should be called the Glamorous Stepsisters! Or the Amazingly Talented Stepsisters!!
Q. What was your life like before your mother married Cinderella’s father?
Pearl: It was like a sunny day at the beach, a bouquet of the rarest most smell-er-ful flowers, a delicious chocolate sundae … except for we were broke.
Dorcas: It’s hard to say, on the one hand we had to do everything for ourselves before he came along and on the other I wasn’t annoyed so much by his little brat.
Q. Did you think it would be like the “Brady Bunch” when the families merged?
Pearl: Pioneer Press, you dusty old thing! Brady what? Before my time.
Dorcas: Excuse me, who? Here’s a story about a girl named Dorky who lived a life of only-childhood for a few lovely years. One by one younger annoying siblings came along and ruined it for me.
Q. Your names are Dorcas and Pearl, but we never know you’re mother’s name. What is it?
Pearl: She goes by mother, mommy, or “Yes, ma’am.”
Dorcas: Her name is mother! That’s all she answers to whenever I am calling her!
Q. Prince Eric: Hot or not?
Pearl: Straight fire. Swipe right.
Dorcas: Hotter than sriracha on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos! Hotter than a jalapeno dipped in Tabasco drying on the front porch on Aug. 28 in Natchez, Mississippi!
Q. What if Prince Eric was not charming? What if he was a jerk? Would you still want to be his princess? Would it be worth perpetually sore feet?
Pearl: Jerks are people, too, PP. Jerks are people, too. #pearlforprincess
Dorcas: What’s not charming about Royalty?? Do you mean what if he wasn’t Royal? Then no, I would not be his princess. Doy! And I don’t have to worry about sore feet sitting on a throne all day!
Q. Do you think you are misunderstood?
Pearl: Yes! Thank you so much. Yes. But that’s about to change with the release of my self-published memoir: “Pearl: The World is My Oyster.” Coming in December, it’s the perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list who likes truth.
Dorcas: Think I do under mis I’m stood? Answer the yes is!
Q. Cinderella is awfully forgiving after all you put her through. Are you worth it? Would you be as kind?
Pearl: I would say, Cin Cin is suspiciously forgiving. I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.
Dorcal: Am I worth it? In the words of Missy Elliott: “I can work it! I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it. Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup.” Also, it’s not a true fairytale without a happy ending!!