Backstage’s ‘Cinderella’ enchanting
In addition to being known as award-winning and the oldest theater in Summit County, the Backstage Theatre has created a reputation for its large-scale, community Labor Day productions.This year, the Backstage brings “Cinderella” to life in a visually enchanting and harmonious form.With a cast ranging from young children softly squeaky like mice to mature adults infusing the story with character, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” showcases Summit County’s acting and singing talent. The whimsical and ornate costumes are like frosting on the cake.Brian Cronan, as the Prince, and Whitney Semin, as Cinderella, particularly shine with their beautiful voices and soulful interpretations of character, while Jade Nicole Durkee sparkles as a fairy godmother with a down-to-earth attitude and magical voice.The adaptation of the legendary fairy tale tells the story of a prince, who’s reluctant to engage in such pomp and circumstance as holding a ball to find a bride; he believes in “old-fashioned” love, which his parents (played grandly by Rich Mayfield and Gayle Knorr) understand – as they slip into a romantic serenade of their true love. Still, they need an heir to the throne. Meanwhile, Cinderella’s stepsisters selfishly misbehave in an ironic attempt to gain the prince’s affection. In addition to warm melodies, “Cinderella” includes comedic lines aimed at adults, such as a discussion about where money comes from, ending in, “money does not grow anywhere- it’s inherited,” as well as adorable scenes by youngsters to entertain both kids and adults.The adaptation also fleshes out Cinderella’s personality with musical insights into her fantasy world, which keeps her sweet, optimistic and focused on learning more about the prince rather than wooing and impressing him.Most people know the happily-ever ending by heart, and this production delivers a delightful experience all the way through. The Riverwalk Center acts as a perfect setting for the large, colorful cast, and the story is the perfect vehicle to transport audiences into a fun, musical fantasy land for an evening.
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