Fairy 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 You are Beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?

Other 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 lovely night, a lovely night, a finer night on Earth you'll never see!  

Performed June 11 – 19, 2010

Martha Pettit
National Youth Theatre


Cinderella:  Helena Woods
Prince Charming:  Neiman Wilson
Fairy Godmother:  Cassie Dibbins
Stepmother:  Katie Heniser
Portia: Abby Davis
Joy:  Jalie Fransway
King: Tyler Lemire
Queen:  Amanda Wright
The Herald:  Teddy Blessing
Chef:  Austin Cook
Steward:  Austin Wright
Footman:  Drew Bradford

Core Company of male dancers:
Teddy Blessing
Tim Cabal
Drew Bradford
Austin Cook
Noah Castillero
Jeremy Mauritzen
Colin McNamarra
David Mendez
Chase James Ogden
David Sherlock
Austin Wright

Core Company of women dancers
Breanna Briggs
Anna Broberg
Audret Fortuin
Jenna Glazier
Analicia Hawkins
Jesse Hyde
Emma Rose Keck
Claire Nuttall
Elise Pardue
Lindsay Romney
Erin Shanahan
Morgan Sharpe
Sydney Skidmore
Mariko Yamamoto

Royal Guards
Kamaran McClanahan
Josh Morrow
Cole Sandhofer
Matthew Bolden

Dominique Biela-Bell
Tawni Bowen
Sarah Broberg
Kaleigh Clark
Sophie Crawford
Amy Cummings
Sara Jaka
Sophie Jones Kellett
Kristin Kevalaitis
Skye McMillan
Olivia Nash
Sierra Schultz
Nicole Smith
Elizabeth Urbina
Kathryn Webb
Hayli VanWagoner

Katie Marie Anderson
Jordan Anichini
Kyle Beck
Sayde Feleice Blanchard
Jake Bradford
Rachel Freeman- Cook
Salima Gangani
Michael Heniser
Michial Michalovich
Keith Nagel
Paulina Nguyen
Rebecca Parsons
Christopher Razniak
Katrine Razniak
Madelyn Resse
Gabrielle Schanzenbach

Director:  Randall Hickman
Choreography:  Allisan Whitman and Randall Hickman
Musical Direction:  Kimberly Kim
Orchestra Conductor:  Jeff Lehman
Set Design and construction:  Douglas Davis
Costume Coordination:  Sandy Shay
Assistants to the choreographer:  Tim Cabal and Jalie Fransway
Lighting Design:  Randall Hickman


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