In Silhouette Stages’ ‘Cinderella,’ a classic gets a classy update

In Silhouette Stages’ ‘Cinderella,’ a classic gets a classy update

How do you update a vintage? We dwell in an age when tales, movies, and

How do you update a vintage?

We dwell in an age when tales, movies, and shows from our childhoods are being constantly revived and rebooted, to decidedly blended evaluations. Do we worth these remakes for their nostalgia benefit, or for the new perspectives they bring to the substance?

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has been a perennial favorite given that the are living tv variation initial aired on CBS in 1957, starring 21-yr-previous Broadway feeling Julie Andrews. The exhibit, the only just one Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote right for tv, was broadcast to a report-smashing audience of 107 million (out of an complete U.S. inhabitants at the time of 172 million). Due to the fact it was are living, the efficiency was believed to be missing. But in 2002 a filmed dress rehearsal turned up it can now be observed on YouTube (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1957) – Julie Andrews). Despite the fact that Andrews won an Emmy for her efficiency, the book of the exhibit was viewed as lackluster, so it was rewritten and remade only 8 many years afterwards, starring Leslie Ann Warren (with the additional star power of Celeste Holm and Ginger Rogers), in the model that may well be most acquainted to the Boomers among the us. It reappeared next in 1997, with the pop star Brandy Norwood in the title job, and a star-studded, assorted cast like Whitney Huston, Bernadette Peters, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Eventually, in 2013, 56 yrs just after it was prepared by perhaps the most well known Broadway crafting group at any time, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella finally designed it to Broadway. And this is the variation you will see at Silhouette Stages.

But a present about a lady who sits all over in rags dreaming and waiting for her Prince to occur does not fly in the 21st century. So how to update it for the age of feminine empowerment and cash flow inequality?

Very first, with a dollop of politics. The social justice concept grafted on to this fluffy tale is a minimal ham-handed, but it does what it demands to do. This Cinderella sets up class conflict with an evil Regent, Sebastian (performed to the hilt by Christopher Kabara like Harvey Korman lampooning Lucius Malfoy), stealing land from the lousy in the Prince’s name, and a crimson-shirted “firebrand” with the Les Mis-esque identify of Jean-Michel (played by Johnny Dunkerly with amusing meekness for a groundbreaking). He sends Cinderella to the palace with a mission — notify the Prince that the staff are being exploited and he need to hear the men and women sing — um, listen to them!

Zac Brightbill as Prince Topher in Rodgers & Hamerstein’s ‘Cinderella.’ Photo by Stasia Stewart Photography.

This is, of study course, an example of another matter a contemporary update involves: female electricity. This Cinderella is not just a poor maid who sits dejected among the the ashes wishing for a gentleman to resolve her problems. She is clever and resourceful, she reads, she cares for other people, and she wishes to do what is suitable. It is up to her to aid the Prince turn out to be the appropriate form of ruler. And below we have the flip side of the empowerment coin: even though all the women in the clearly show are solid, the heroes are full of self-doubt. Prince Topher (performed by Zac Brightbill, in charming voice and appears to be like a close to useless-ringer for Neil Patrick Harris) has his have “I want” music (recently included from the Rodgers and Hammerstein back again catalog) identified as “Me, Who Am I?”  When effortlessly besting evil sorceresses and slaying dragons, he is possessing an identity disaster, questioning if he will be a great enough king. He is delicate, not suave. Jean-Michel also will get his possess new (recycled R&H) tune, “Now Is the Time,” which is humorously drowned out by “The Prince Is Giving a Ball” until finally the would-be revolutionary picks up his soapbox and leaves, dejected. He, much too, is a hero with self-esteem problems, right up until Gabrielle (Hannah Elliott), a Stepsister with a astonishing social conscience, reveals her like and crops a smooch on him. Then they are ready to acquire on the powers that be! The addition of this pair of comic enthusiasts is a charming contact.

The final thing a contemporary update cannot do without is humor. This a person has wisecracks to spare. There is even a second at the ball exactly where the attendees engage in a activity they simply call Ridicule, throwing sassy shade at each individual other for the Prince to judge. 1 of the best comic touches is the revamping of Charlotte, the other stepsister (performed by Marela Kay Minosa with an pretty much uncanny resemblance to Ann Harada, who originated the position on Broadway). She qualified prospects the chorus in the usually amusing “Stepsister’s Lament,” and her hopeless makes an attempt to snare the prince and her provide of well-landed laugh traces insert spice to the present.

Numerous of the figures in this edition are deeper than mere fairytale stereotypes, especially the Stepfamily. The stepmother, Madame (an imperious Lauren Tobiason), is plotting and acquiring an affair with the Regent, but shows times of affection for Cinderella, and asks her forgiveness in the finish. The Stepsisters invest significantly less time combating than harmonizing.

So, with its touches of social consciousness, feminism, humor, and character improvement, this revamp performs.

But what has always attracted men and women to R&H’s Cinderella most is the music. If the voices are not there, all the just one-liners in the world won’t aid. And this output has voices to spare.

Marie, the Fairy Godmother (Amanda Jones) and Lord Pinkleton (Otega Okurume) have best-notch operatic voices that have their major quantities up to the rafters.

Bailey Wolf as Ella in Rodgers & Hamerstein’s ‘Cinderella.’ Photo by Stasia Stewart Photography.

And Bailey Wolf is, quite frankly, the great Cinderella. She has the pipes, the vocal range, the performing acumen, the softness, the sass, and the sheer stamina necessary to have the total present. Whether or not demonstrating spunk or sweetness in her solos, soaring over the refrain or in a pretty duet with the Prince, she is sublime.

Songs Director Paige Rammelkamp handles properly the challenge of merging reside singers with backing tracks and producing wonderful harmonies (though the lyrics in the refrain could be clearer at periods). The new rating keeps practically all the authentic audio and adds four new tunes from the R&H catalog — an spectacular feat.

The set, built by Sammy Jungworth, has a attractive, wooded backcloth and a round disk on to which are alternately projected the sunshine, the moon, and the all-vital clock at the castle (Projection Designers Richard and Amy Atha-Nicolls). The castle by itself sad to say seems a little rickety, and even dropped a railing early on, which the actors gamely incorporated into their battle scene. The use of puppets and the pumpkin carriage are genuinely charming.

The choreographer Rikki Lacewell manages to convey the perception of a ballroom full of waltzers in the limited place accessible and fills the lengthy chase sequences with amusing dance steps that got the idea across.

Zac Brightbill as Prince Topher in Rodgers & Hamerstein’s ‘Cinderella.’ Picture by Stasia Stewart Images.

Supplied that the update needed not just one particular but a few magic transformation dresses, kudos to Costumer Deana Cruz-Conner. The other costumes also healthy the intent (despite the fact that the ball attire range wildly from 15th-century Renaissance to ’80s prom attire). Cinderella and her Prince appear wonderful in paired white at the ball and afterwards in a gold costume and blue coat that match the country’s banner (though it is challenging to convey to if the national emblem of a triangle of triangles is meant to reference or just resembles the Triforce from Legend of Zelda).

Hats off (as it had been) to Wig Designer Tommy Malek for a variety of looks from Madame’s crimson Winifred Sanderson updo to Sebastian’s sinister silver pageboy and extra.

Seem Designers Alex Porter and Ethan Hogarty emphasize the principals’ gorgeous voices well. Regrettably, the refrain offstage at the commencing was tricky to distinguish, and there were being some feed-back and crackling challenges that hopefully will be ironed out soon.

Veteran director TJ Lukacsina’s casting alternatives were impeccable, and he dealt with all the moving parts capably, eliciting humor, tenderness, and action as necessary while trying to keep the tempo taut. As he stated in his Director’s Observe, in all the variations of Cinderella, “The similar simple plot is located in the course of with each and every culture’s values additional for the reward of the following generation examining them.” And that is what we have in this article — a basic worthy of its update.

Come for the new, keep for the experimented with and accurate.

You’re confident to have “A Lovely Night time.”

Jogging Time: Two hrs 45 minutes, like intermission.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella performs by June 19, 2022 (Fridays/Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm), presented by Silhouette Levels accomplishing at Slayton Home Theater in Wilde Lake Village Heart, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, MD. Acquire tickets ($15–$22) on line.

COVID Security: The location requires proof of vaccination and ID for entry and masks to be worn at all occasions in the theater.

Ella: Bailey Wolf
Prince Topher: Zac Brightbill
Madame: Lauren Tobiason
Sebastian: Christopher Kabara
Marie: Amanda Jones
Gabrielle: Hannah Elliott
Charlotte: Marela Kay Minosa
Jean-Michel: Johnny Dunkerly
Lord Pinkleton: Otega Okurume
Ensemble:  Matt Deitrich, Rene Kieth Flores, Sally Ann Flores, Megan Henderson, Bethany Jani, Benjamin Kintisch, Emily Letchworth, Michelle Moses-Eisenstein, Pamela Northrup, Sarah Robinson, Deacon Sweeting, Maggie Walker, Kaitlyn Wilson

Output Group
Director: TJ Lukacsina
Stage Manager: Laura Fisher
Producer: Ande Kolp
Choreography: Rikki Lacewell
Songs Director: Paige Rammelkamp
Intimacy Choreographer: Lauren Lowell
Costume Layout: Deana Cruz-Conner
Makeup Style: Shemika Renée
Lights Design and style: Donald Chiarella
Established Layout: Sammy Jungwirth
Props/Scenic Style and design: Jessie Krupkin
Wig Style and design: Tommy Malek
Photography: Ana Johns
Clearly show Graphic: Justin Johnson