In Aurand Harris' A Toby Show, the story of Cinderella is retold on stage by Toby, a loveable, yet bumbling, character. The text follows the various mix-ups that Toby creates but through it all, a love story unfolds.
In Act 1 we meet the lovable Toby, who arrives in town looking for work as a handyman. But when he arrives at the residence of Mrs Van Undersquire he is mistaken for the charming Prince Burtock, who is due to arrive that same day to choose one of the Van Undersquire daughters as his bride so that his fortune can be assured. The apparent prince is fawned over by Mrs Van Undersquire and her two daughters, the melodious Sophia and the poetic Mauderina. When the true Prince Burtock arrives, he is mistaken as the handyman and is sent to work in the kitchen with Cindy, the step-daughter of the ghastly Mrs Van Undersquire. It is evident that Prince Burtock immediately likes Cindy. Upon the arrival of the Colonel Dinwiddie, the Prince's eccentric grandfather, and after much confusion it is revealed that Toby is the handyman and Prince Burtock is indeed the Prince.
Act 2 begins as afternoon tea is being served and the kerfuffle of switched identities has been cleared up. This proves to be the perfect arena for Sophia and Mauderina to try and impress the Prince with their amazing talents. Unfortunately, for the girls, the Prince is all but confused by their bizarre gifts and the afternoon comes to an end. After everyone else has left, Mrs Van Undersquire orders Toby to make sure that Cindy does not talk to Prince Burtock, as she feels that they are getting on too well for her and her daughters benefit. Toby suspects that something is not right and has a chat to Cindy, who reveals that she is also a daughter of the late Mr Van Undersquire and that therefore the Prince could marry her if he so chose. Toby knows that Cindy deserves to be a Princess and gets to work on her gown and golden slippers, so she can make her début at the Masquerade Ball later that night.
Act 3 sees the Ball in full swing and the pressure is on for Burtock to announce his bride. Sophia and Mauderina try their best to persuade him to choose one of them as his future wife and Princess, but he only has eyes for the new mysterious beauty wearing a stunning ball gown and golden slippers. Prince Burtock and this mysterious beauty dance the night away until the clock strikes twelve and she must flee. But as she leaves, she loses one of her beautiful shoes. Distraught from not knowing who this beauty is, Prince Burtock spies the golden slipper on the ground and recognises it as belonging to this beautiful woman. Deciding that the woman he shall marry must fit this shoe, both Sophia and Mauderina unsuccessfully attempt to squeeze their feet into the dainty slipper. When all seems lost, Toby calls in Cindy who tries on the shoe. It fits! Prince Burtock chooses his bride and the truth about Cindy is revealed. The house in which Mrs Van Undersquire rules and the jewellery she wears and the money she spends all belong to Cindy. Mrs. Van Undersquire and her daughters are sent to the kitchens as Prince Burtock and Cindy take off in his plane, happily married.
To finish, once Toby has completed his handy work, he bids the audience farewell with the line ‘And they all lived happily ever after’.