Spring Musical “Cinderella” transports audience into a fairy-tale book

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Cinderella, played by Mallory Arneson, and Prince Topher, played by Zane Meyers, share a moment before dancing to Richard Roger and Oscar Hammerstein's "Cinderella Waltz and "Ten Minutes Ago."

   Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical production of “Cinderella” was performed on Feb. 27-29 and will continue to perform on March 5-7 at 7:00pm in the Sue Henry auditorium. This version of “Cinderella” was originally broadcasted on television in 1951 but is now performed on stage and is a Broadway show. The music was composed in 1947 by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. This magical production’s storyline is based around the classic fairy tale that was written in 1697 in France and the mindset of “anything is possible.”

    In the past, Sheridan High School musicals have transported their audience to many time periods and places such as the 1950’s “Bye Bye Birdie” the 1920’s “The Boyfriend” and a wondrous candy factory “Willy Wonka.” This year, Director Stephanie Zukowski wanted to give the audience of Sheridan another vastly different experience. “I really want the audience to experience a fairy tale,” said Zukowski.   

   One difference that has changed the production compared to the musicals in the past is the set. Many cast members and crew working on the musical have said that they are excited about the new set design.

   “It’s a lot different and it has a lot of moving pieces,” said Emilou Justice who plays Madame, “The set moves with the senses like a pop up picture book.” Instead of the set being stationary and switching every so often when the scenery changes or when the lights go out, the set will move along with the character’s transition to the next scene right in front of the audience. The set has three panels set on a triangle with wheels; each panel is a different scenery. There are two of these rotating triangles on each side of the stage. To switch the scene all the tech crew has to do is rotate the triangle on wheels to change the scene. The purpose of having a different style of set is to give the audience a more fairy tale book theme to the production. 

   The musical has long dancing sections where cast members have to be able to solve and work together, especially this year since Zukowski has brought in the direction of a choreographer, Stephanie Koltiska. “The choreography is full on waltzing,” said Daley Nissen who plays Lord Sebastian, “I like how the choreography really pushes the boundaries.” This musical is very choreography heavy, only because there are many new styles of dancing that most of the cast members are not used to. A few of the songs last up to eight minutes with full choreography and transitions. Many hours have gone into planning and running through the dance moves so that when performed it looks clean.  

   A majority of the cast members have worked together in other shows throughout the community and in SHS musical productions before. “There are a lot of friends within the cast,” said Zane Myers who plays Prince Topher. Myers also shared why he likes this musical so much and some of his favorite moments he has experienced during rehearsal. “My favorite scene is when Topher and Ella first meet and it’s magical,” says Myers, “It feels different when I meet her in the show.” Myers has known Mallory Arneson who plays Cinderella, for years since they joined Tandem when they were younger. The friendships formed in the musical productions allow for some of the scenes throughout the musical to have moments that people can’t script. 

   The cast as a whole has come closer together by accepting their successes and failures. Through late show nights, four hour dress rehearsals in full costume, and countless effort given outside of rehearsal, the cast has continued to work hard together. “It’s really fun; there’s a lot going on, and I want the audience to feel like they just watched a storybook come to life,” says Justice. 

   

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Crazy Marie, played by Madisyn Danforth, transforms a pumpkin into a golden carriage on stage during dress rehearsals on Feb. 24.

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Cast members perform choreography.

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Cast sings “The Prince is Giving a Ball.”