If the shoe fits: Moffat County fall musical ‘Cinderella’ promises fairy tale finesse
You’ll never hear the phrase “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo” mentioned on stage during Moffat County High School’s latest theatrical project, but that doesn’t make it any less magical.
The Bulldog drama department presents “Cinderella” this week with shows Thursday through Saturday at MCHS, 900 Finley Lane.
Evening performances are 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with an afternoon matinee at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $7 per person, and tickets to the show are good for 10 percent off a meal at Village Inn.
The production is based on the version of the French fairy tale as adapted by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II as one of the duo’s most beloved musicals.
The well-known story tells the tale of put-upon Cinderella (Caroline Riley), treated as a servant by her cruel stepmother (Maria Sanchez Silva) and vain, selfish stepsisters (Alexa Neton, Courtney Smith) while keeping a kind heart nonetheless.
Riley said the role was one she had always wished to play, with the Disney animated movie one of the first DVDs she remembers owning.
“I’m really grateful to have a lead role, and being a senior makes it a lot more fun and sentimental since it’s the last musical I’ll be able to participate in,” she said. “It’s very magical.”
The big transition is easily her favorite scene.
As most any 5-year-old could tell you, Cindy’s fortune changes drastically with the aid of her godmother (Rachel Updike), who turns out to have magical capabilities in providing a makeover to send the humble peasant girl on her way to a royal ball in style.
“Cinderella is the topper for my Christmas tree, so to be my favorite character from that movie has been really amazing for me,” she said. “I love how the godmother shows herself, and being able to bring it in my own perspective is really fun.”
Like Updike, Draken Blackwing had previously played smaller parts in prior plays. This time he portrays the prince hosting the evening who quickly falls for the mystery lady.
“I’m excited, and it’s kind of a big role to take, and I’m just having fun with it,” he said. “The singing is wonderful.”
The prince’s lengthy name is a song in itself, one of many that compete with the tunes from the 1950 cartoon — and its 2015 live-action update — including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible; It’s Possible” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”
Director Grace Pomeleo noted that while the Disney versions of the character are certainly popular, the Broadway show is one that has legions of loyal fans, and the fanciful costumes, live orchestral music and stage effects are certain to entertain.
As part of Saturday’s matinee, young children are invited to take pictures with the title character.
“Cinderella is kind of the ultimate Disney princess, so clearly she’s loved,” she said. “I thought it was time for another fairy tale, so I figured this would be a good one.”
With an able cast, stagehands and technical crew, as well as the music led by band instructor Erik Memmott from the orchestra pit, Pomeleo said it’s almost as if the fairy godmother has waved her wand over the show itself.
“This has been one of the smoothest shows I’ve ever done on stage. Everything has fallen into place really nicely,” she said.