Cinderella: A Ragtime Musical
by Desert Stages Theatre
Book, Music, and
Lyrics by Gerry Cullity.
Cinderella gets magically whisked off to
turn-of-the-century New York City in this musical adaptation by Desert Stages
Theatre co-founder Gerry Cullity where the affluent Charming family, recent
immigrant Cinderella and her wicked but kind-of-cute stepfamily, Italian
stowaway mice, and some ragtime music combine to jazz up the classic fairy tale.
Desert Stages Theatre draws you into turn-of-the-century
New York with their theater in the round, the sets and painted walls all about
you featuring the city skyline, Ellis Island, posh Manhattan mansions and
rundown corners of the city, with Director Lisa
Barton working with Artistic Director Laurie
Cullity on designing the sets.
The production is divvied up among four different casts,
with this viewing featuring Libby Stiles
and Jeremy Yampolsky as Cinderella
and Brandon Charming. Libby has a gentle sincerity that fits the role as well as
easy playfulness when it comes to her hyped-up mice friends who joined her on
her transatlantic journey. Jeremy is good as the good guy Brandon Charming,
trying to have an artistic life, a bit embarrassed by his
unabashedly materialistic and intimidating control freak mother Millicent (Arianna
Williams) and his would-be philandering father Herbert (Wyland
Barton) who tries to pick up the women in the audience behind Millicent’s
back. Libby and Jeremy work nicely together as they find their soul mate in each
other, and some welcome relief from their awful families.
awful stepfamily is led by Megan Sawyer as Rosa (also the show’s choreographer) who is very
amusing as the vain, gold-digging stepmother who finds it’s not easy being
perfect, gorgeous, etc. She is perfectly prepared to not let a slight difference
in age stand between her and Brandon Charming’s money, plotting to nab Brandon
for herself if her ditzy daughters can’t manage it. Erin Tarkington and Kasey
Hernandez are those wicked, but kind of cute, occasionally snorting
stepsisters Mimi and Fifi. They are a blast as a comic duo who have the sister
relationship down as teammates against Cinderella, romantic rivals for Brandon,
and commiserating in Nobody Likes to be
Lonely where sobbing Fifi takes full advantage of her human tissue box Mimi.
The rest of the cast includes four vibrant performances from her mice friends (Rachel Berry, Kellyn Broerman,Allie Rose, and Jack Yampolsky) who with Cinderella teach us all how to make ourselves happy with a Smile Check, as well as dynamic newsies and New Yorkers featured often in the many big musical numbers including kicking it all off with a mesmerizing song of Magic. And, of course, there is a Fairy Godmother, with Kristin Alba (also the assistant director) who serenely and tenderly guides us through the story of her Cinderella.
Performed August 23 - September 22, 2013
Photos by Heather Butcher
~ Cast ~
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