Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, currently enchanting audiences at The Hobby Center for The Performing Arts until December 24th, 2023, is a breathtaking spectacle that effortlessly weaves together the magic of a classic fairy tale with outstanding performances and dazzling production elements. The musical by Theatre Under the Stars is one that is sure to appeal to a wide audience and, clocking in at 2 hours and 30 minutes with a well-timed intermission, should hold most viewer’s attention.
Brianna Kaleen shines as the titular character, bringing not only a beautiful voice but also a depth of emotion and charm that truly makes her portrayal memorable. Her performance during the transformative scene, where Cinderella is touched by the magic of her Fairy Godmother, is a standout moment filled with enchantment and wonder. Kaleen twirls revealing the sparkling dress; this is a magical touch that adds to the overall brilliance of the production.
Speaking of magic, Soara-Joye Ross steals the show as Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Her rendition of the popular tune "Impossible" is incredible, and the moments where she seemingly flies across the stage by wire add an extra layer of enchantment to the performance. The chemistry between Kaleen and Ross creates a magical connection that resonated with the audience, making the fairy tale come alive.
The production as a whole is a stellar achievement, with numerous practical sets that bring the kingdom, towns, and Cinderella's home to life. The attention to detail in the transformation scene is commendable, from the mystical haze to the quick shift of the ensemble playing mice into horses. The effects dress that unfolds as Kaleen twirls is a true marvel of stagecraft, leaving the audience in awe of the magical transformation before their eyes.
Courtney Markowitz's portrayal of the Step-Mother adds a triumphant menace to the production. The scene where she rips Cinderella's dress and belittles her before the ball is executed with such conviction that it elicits audible reactions from the audience. Gemini Quintos and Sara Sachi, as the step-sisters Grace and Joy, complement the Step-Mother perfectly, delivering performances that are both comical and malicious. Their interactions with Cinderella showcase the depth of their characters and the range of emotions they can evoke from the audience.
Jason Schmidt as Christopher, the prince Cinderella meets at the ball, adds a touch of romance to the production and the chemistry between Schmidt and Kaleen adds another layer of emotion to the musical.
The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein is brought to life with memorable tunes, with "In My Little Corner," "Impossible," and "10 Minutes Ago" standing out as particularly memorable. The melodies will most likely linger in the minds of the audience long after the final notes have faded, creating a lasting impression that contributes to the overall success of the musical.
In conclusion, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella by Theatre Under The Stars is a magical experience that will captivate audiences with its stellar cast, enchanting production, and unforgettable music. The engagement of the audience, especially the enthusiastic reactions from a section of students on a school trip, showcases the universal appeal of this timeless tale. Don't miss the chance to be swept away by the magic – just like Cinderella only has a certain amount of time before her magic wares off, you will want to catch this extraordinary production before it transforms back into a pumpkin on December 24th, 2023.
|A perfect family outing filled with enchantment for all ages.