This weekend’s showing of the play, Cinderella at H. H. Wells Middle School, was a success. The auditorium was overflowing with an audience of proud families and community members as the production staff prepared for the show. Before it actually started, the school principal Mr. Clark stepped on stage in a squire costume to read the rules of audience etiquette, which added a nice touch of humor before the story began. This production's director and music director were Susan Yanarella and Don MacCrae; the choreographers who helped bring the stage to life were Nicole Aravena and Jackie Madera from Seven Star School of Performing Arts.
Originally written by Rodger and Hammerstein, Cinderella was performed with an enthusiastic cast of middle schoolers who brought life to the stage. The story followed the life of Cinderella (Fiona McCoppin), the oppressed stepdaughter of a controlling mother (Bridget Courtney) who wouldn’t let her go to the huge kingdom ball. Taunted by her step sisters (Sarah Bloss and Brooke Ryan), Cinderella longed to find solace in the world’s natural gifts, singing about exploring jungles and foreign cities, beyond the life of her own little corner. Unbeknownst to her, Cinderella would be visited by her godmother, or fairy godmother (Isabella DiDio), who granted her wishes and magically summoned a horse and carriage, as well as a new dress for the ball. Cinderella’s entrance and lovely night with the prince (James Hartigan) was envied by the townspeople, but ended in misfortune when she hurried away to get back home before midnight, leaving behind a glass slipper. The amorous prince sent the herald (Justin Rodriguez) to find the girl whose foot fit perfectly into the slipper, to no avail. It wasn’t until Cinderella herself approached the prince and showed him her foot fit perfectly into the slipper, that she began to see a happy future, free from her stepmother.
The story was wondrously executed by the Wells students. Each character was involved and rhapsodic throughout their performance, and the overall attitude was positive and engaging. One of the most striking features of Cinderella was their props and costumes. Elaborately designed and realistically fabricated, the costumes (many of which adorned with feathered head pieces) were ruffled and layered and colorful in every scene. No character was out of place in this vibrant production. Also, the vocals were effortlessly executed, and each character had some role in the ensemble. From the Herald’s impressively resonating voice in “The Prince is Giving a Ball” to Cinderella and Fairy Godmother’s animated “Impossible/ It’s Possible,” the musical aspect of the play was splendid.
In all, H. H. Wells Middle School did a fantastic job of capturing the magic and beauty of true love and persistence in their production of Cinderella. We wish the cast and crew good luck in their future theater endeavors!
Photos by Bob Lash of 4 Son's Photography & Digital Imaging www.4sonsphotography.com