Griffin Theatre Company reprises its acclaimed adaptation of Gail Carson Levine’s 1997 novel–which, according to the American Library Association, is now second only to the Harry Potter books among young readers. Unlike previous portrayals of Cinderella as a victim with good karma, this Ella is a heroine who must embark upon a dangerous quest to break a lifelong spell that forces her into unconditional obedience. Along the way she finds wisdom, maturity, and of course a handsome prince. Though this version includes the classic elements–the glass slippers, the midnight curfew, the evil stepfamily–it’s not a conventional telling. Fortunately, most of the original cast members have returned, including Tiffany Scott in the title role, Benjamin Summers as the self-effacing prince, Amanda Putman as the fabulously wicked sister Hattie, and Millie Hurley as the motherly kitchen fairy. As before, Griffin’s tech team creates a glittery spectacle of color, light, sound, smoke, and really big wigs (though the costumes look a little tired, everything else has stayed fresh). Even after some editing, the production runs over two hours, but audiences seem to stay enthralled (dare I say spellbound?) to the end. Clearly this vibrant staging has retained its magic. (Note: Miramax Films plans to release its Ella Enchanted in late 2001.) Calo Theatre, 5404 N. Clark, 773-769-2228. Through October 15: Fridays, 7:30 PM; Saturdays, 3 and 7:30 PM; Sundays, 3 PM. $15; $10 for children.

–Kim Wilson