By Kathy Carpenter
Moonlight Stage Production Presents: Roger’s and Hammerstein’s, “Cinderella.” Broadway’s best under the stars. Pure Enchantment, it’s not about waiting for your Prince to come and rescue you from your miserable life, it’s about believing in and finding your one true love. The magic can happen. It is based on the original book by Oscar Hammerstein II, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beans. It is directed by Noelle Marion, Musical Director and conductor, Tamara Page, and choreographed by Jill Gorrie Rovatsos. It is Bedazzling fun, as we are whisked away to fairy tale world where we can be whatever we want to be.
Cinderella is a classic story with thousands of versions, all of which I love. This is a reminder that our dreams are possible. I have always loved the Rogers and Hammerstein version. Listening to the beautiful music in the overture instantly carried me away to a special place of peace, happiness sand memories of a forgotten time.
The story is the same tale of a wicked stepmother, two stepsisters, and a Prince to carry Cinderella off. But in this version, one stepsister is understanding, with her own issues, the Fairy Godmother is someone Cinderella knows and has shown kindness, and the Prince is someone she can share the village woes with.
The play is shown through an exquisite proscenium arch with elegantly entwined flowers and a crown in the center. A gateway into another land, a frame to the story and a tradition from the ancient Greeks divide the stage. A magical touch to take us away. The show starts with an aerialist, Danielle Airey, who does wonderful ribbon work. The Prince rounds up and hunts down all the bad men below in an attempt to show the Prince in his every day world. For me this really doesn’t fit, but is soon forgotten as we become wrapped up in Ella’s world.
Ella, is played by the captivating Dhora De Luz. Optimism and kindness ooze through her performance. Samuel Shea is a definite Prince, and every little girl’s hero. Anise Ritchie, as the Godmother, who rocks her moments in the spotlight. Eileen Bowman, as Madame, the stepmother, makes us laugh, and despise her treatment of Ella. Kumar Small, is Gabrielle, the sympathetic stepsister, giving us someone else to root for. Charlotte the cruel stepsister, is played by Samantha Wynn Greenstone, pulling her weight as a talented actress. We also have Steve Gunderson, as Sebastian, the man who raised the Prince, who is the villain of the piece. We have the lovable villain, along with the stepmother- No hard core villains in this light-hearted version. Then we have Jean-Michel, activist and love interest of Gabrielle, played by the compatible Drew Bradford.
Of course the show takes a village, with a fabulous ensemble to bring the romantic dances to life. And a children’s ensemble to bring the village to life and the Cinderella Orchestra to enchant us with the wondrous music. The pieces that bring everything together for an epic show.
My favorite songs are: “In my own little Corner,” sung by Ella. I have always loved and identified with this song, as I watched every year as we did back then. And, “Ten Minutes Ago” the Prince and Cinderella are so romantic, is still playing in my head.
Come to the show, relive your past, when you believed in the magic of love. Introduce a new generation to the discovery of the magic around us every day. A night out at the Theatre. This is good old fashion fun, and the possibility of finding your one true love.
Only a few performances left
Nightly at 8pm thru June 25
July 20 – Aug.6
Musical Tributes thru July