updated 10/26/2010 10:15:59 AM ET 2010-10-26T14:15:59

HOUSTON, Oct. 26, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre presents the African American Shakespeare Company's Cinderella with an opening night media reception, Thursday, November 18, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

Director/ Choreographer Patdro Harris and Musical Director Carlton Leake combine their talents to add original dance moves and music to The Ensemble Theatre's presentation of the African American Shakespeare Company's Cinderella.

"Our vision was to take this classic tale to a level that makes it the most unique holiday production in the City of Houston," says Harris. "Almost everyone can say they've heard the tale of Cinderella in their childhood, but the sights and sounds of this show will rejuvenate our imagination."

This fresh interpretation of Cinderella will take audiences on a journey outside of the traditional holiday elements and back again with messages of faith, perseverance, and romance. Cinderella is found working as a scullery maid for her evil stepmother and stepsisters, but her hip fairy godmother makes the magic happen. With a little 'diva-tude' she gets Cinderella to the holiday ball to find her Prince Charming.

"As a minister I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge in addition to the pageantry and romance of this production, is the belief in all things possible, and proof that miracles do happen," says Leake. "I'm grateful for another opportunity to work with Patdro and the host of artists, designers, and technicians who helped present this story that I believe will entertain and touch lives."

Featured Houston artists include: Teacake Ferguson, Tishaun Scott, Bebe Wilson, Rachel Hemphill Dickson, Chloe Brown, Roenia Thompson, and Tamara Harper.

Previews: November 13, 14, and 17, 2010  Show Run: November 18 – December 26, 2010.

Performances: Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.; Fridays: 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.;
and Sundays: 3:00p.m.

For tickets and seating availability call: 713-520-0055 or visit: www.ensemblehouston.com

Harris and Leake have worked together on several of The Ensemble Theatre's past musical presentations including: Five Guys Named Moe, featuring T.C. Carson, Thomas Meloncon's Christmas with Great Aunt, The Wiz, and Leake's original production, The Twelve Ways of Christmas.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2010-2011 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts. Continental Airlines is the exclusive airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. This production is generously underwritten by Target and BP.

The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and to enlighten, entertain, and enrich a diverse community. The theatre is known as the only professional theatre in its region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African American experience. In addition to being the oldest and largest professional African American theatre in the Southwest, it also holds the distinction of being one of the nation's largest African American theatres that owns and operates its facility with an in-house production team. Board President Emeritus Audrey Lawson led the capital campaign for The Ensemble's $4.5 million building renovations that concluded in 1997.

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