by Encore Youth Theatre and Premiere for Kids
tales are fine festive fare and this production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella
is a charming one with engaging performances, an array of dazzling sets created
by the multi-talented Douglas Davis
and just enough magic at work to enchant young audiences. Director Randall Hickman
displays his usual strengths, including “Randallizing” the script as the
locals put it, to tickle some laughs out of the story.
Choreographers Allisan Whitman and Randall Hickman entertain with some beautiful ladies leaping in The
Prince is Giving a Ball and they cleverly entice a chorus line of mice from
the Kingdom of Duloc to make an appearance in It’s
Possible to become terrific tapping horses.
Costumer Sandy Shay created a
stunning display of costumes while conductor Jeff
Lehman delivered incredible music from the 21-piece orchestra pit.
But for this reviewer, the biggest kudos of the evening goes to the
entire cast’s amazing vocals, courtesy of some clear talent, brought together
under the musical direction of Kimberly Kim.
Leading the way was the leading lady herself, Cinderella, played by Helena
Marie Woods. Vocally
mesmerizing, she grabs the heartstrings of the cottage mice who threatened to
steal the scene in their playful rendition of In
My Own Little Corner. Keeping
her figuratively cornered are her Stepmother, played by Katie Heniser, who along with stepsisters Joy (Jalie Fransway) and the uni-browed Portia (Abby Davis), are
fittingly crass and mean, despite their constant attempts at “grace and
charm.” Fortunately, a
magical intervention by the sassy Fairy Godmother played by Cassie
Dibbons saves the day with delightful reminders that impossible things are
happening every day, including a charmed table with a mind of its own.
All fabulous fairy tales must have romance, and this one is no different,
with the charismatic Neiman Wilson as
Prince Charming falling instantly for the “mysterious dazzling girl.”
Much to the delight of the slightly befuddled King, played by
Tyler Lemire, and the courtly
Queen (Amanda Wright), Cinderella and
Prince Charming get right to the crux of all romances as they grapple with the
age-old question, Do I Love You Because
Beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?
standout performances came from Teddy Blessing as the hilarious Herald, Drew
Bradford as the flamboyant footman, along with Austin Cook and Austin Wright who
obviously have a ball planning the ball as the Chef and Steward.
The beautifully refurbished Moonlight Amphitheatre was the perfect
backdrop to this
June 11 – 19, 2010
Company of women dancers
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