Every light in the auditorium was off except for the spotlight on center stage, ready for showtime. Behind the curtain, the whole cast was fully mic’d and prepared for rehearsal. And there I sat, alone in the auditorium ready to watch the tech musical rehearsal in full swing with everything except costumes.
This year’s musical is Cinderella. The show will be performed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11-13, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 13.
The production follows the same plot as the familiar story: Cinderella has to tend to her step-family’s every need until her fairy godmother transforms her into a beautiful princess ready for the ball. The only extension to the plot is the Prince’s point of view towards the ball and Cinderella.
Despite the occasional rerun of dance numbers, the show was fabulous. Scenery, music and acting was seemingly immaculate.
The directors cast all of the main roles faultlessly, from senior Charlie Jensen as the respectable Prince Charming to sophomore Grace Chisholm as a bubbly, obnoxious stepsister. Chisholm was bouncing around stage speaking every word in her nasally voice, while Jensen was being polite to his mom and making courtious conversation with all the maidens in the town at the Ball.
Cinderella is played by sophomore Savanna Worthington. Worthington is perfect for the part because she starts out shy at the beginning of the story but slowly starts to become more outgoing and personable which causes the prince to fall for her. From the get-go, Cinderella is thrown under the bus by her step-family, forced to do chores and otherwise disregarded. As the story unravels, Cinderella begins to realize her potential, and that’s clearly evident. Throughout her songs her personality enhances as the audience becomes aware of the self-discovery.
The moment the prince lays his eyes on Cinderella, the actors make sure the spark between the two of them is inevitable. As the characters spend more time together, the connection grows until the end of the story at the wedding scene. Whether they are dancing arm-in-arm at the ball or even just talking to their family about their newly found significant other, their feelings for each other are practically oozing out their ears.
From cupboard to courtyard, the backgrounds are miraculously made. The scenes were mainly set in the ballroom or in Cinderella’s house, both of which looked exactly as I pictured while I was growing up. Cinderella’s house is a small wooden cottage with only a stone fireplace and wooden table with chairs. The simplicity of the set was perfect because it allowed for more of a focus on the music and acting. The castle’s high ceilings and tiled ballroom floor met with walls lined by huge windows looking out into the painted “courtyard.”
One thing that stood out to me was the stagecoach that Cinderella rides to the ball in. It looked like one of the horse-drawn carriages on the Plaza, equipped with lights and all.
Transitions were still a little bit rough and lengthy but understandably so, because it was just a run through. There were strategically placed dancers onstage during the change-ups, so these transitions went practically unnoticed.
And as far as the music and dancing goes, two thumbs up. The pit orchestra did a phenomenal job with the music incorporated in each scene, sparkling in and fading out. It sounded like a CD or recording was playing because of how smooth and practiced the music was. Of the multiple songs and dance numbers, one that stood out was “In My Own Little Corner”, Cinderella’s solo about always being home and having huge daydreams before she gets transformed into a breathtaking princess.
Overall, I would give East’s production of Cinderella 4.5 out of 5 stars.The only reason I would knock stars off is because I didn’t get to see the show full out, without pauses and with costumes. Even without these features, everything from actors to lighting was phenomenal. I can’t wait to see the completed production with hair, makeup and all. The musical will definitely be something to look forward to, and I would highly recommend seeing it to support East theatre.