The lights dimmed, the orchestra hummed and the audience took their seats. The anticipation was palpable since this school’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was promoted for two months. Dozens of talented students rehearsed and perfected their performances in the show and their dedication to their craft finally paid off in a big way with all those contributing to the production being integral to the success of the musical. Each crew member, each pit musician and each performer on stage plays their roles to the best of their ability, resulting in a phenomenal rendition of the world-famous fairytale.
Senior Emily Ray was simply enchanting in her titular role as the storybook Disney princess, Cinderella. Both her singing and acting are showcased during her performance with the songs “It’s Possible,” along with senior Sophia Koval taking on the bewitching role of the iconic Fairy Godmother named “Marie,” and “He Was Tall” being particular standouts. Ray’s talent is incomparable and she has a successful future ahead of her, especially in the realm of musical theater. Playing opposite of Ray is senior Krys Ochman, whose endearing take on Prince Charming warmed the hearts of audience members with his raw ability to intrigue. In a revamped version of the character, Ochman delivers as Prince Topher and shines brightest when on stage with Ray. “They got along so well together,” sophomore ensemble member Abigail Russ said, “I think it’s because they’ve known each other forever.”
While the two leads of the play dazzled on stage together, there were other supporting roles who nearly stole the show. One such role was senior Daria Kerschenbaum’s Madame, a cruel and sinister interpretation of the classic villain, the Evil Stepmother. Whether she’s belittling her on-stage stepdaughter or singing her heart out in songs like “A Lovely Night,” Kerschenbaum provides nothing short of a memorable antagonist for the heroic princess. “I normally play non-villainous roles,” Kerschenbaum said, “so it was fun to play a bad guy, and such a funny one at that.”
Other stand-out roles include senior Matthew Bottiglieri as Sebastian, junior Taylor Litofsky as Gabrielle, junior Julia Bergel as Charlotte, senior William Memmott as Jean-Michel and both seniors Matthew Rosenthal and Myles Frost as Lord Pinkerton.
Any good stage production must showcase talented actors and singers but the heart of the show lies with the stage crew. Led by senior Jimmy Baldwin as the Student Tech Director/Stage Manager, the stage crew added stunning visuals and exciting technical feats to the already fantastic production. Each member of the crew was vital for the success of the play from the painters, to the sound technicians, to the prop designers, and the friendship shared between them only strengthened their ability to impress. “Working on the musical was stressful but fun. Having such talented people surrounding me didn’t make me as nervous as I was at first,” sophomore lights crew member Emma Stern said.