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a Musical
by Music by Richard Rodgers; Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

COMPANY : Capitol City Opera Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Conant Performing Arts Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4123

SHOWING : September 09, 2011 - September 11, 2011



Relive the magic of Cinderella

The original dysfunctional stepfamily comes to the Conant Performing Arts Center this September with Capitol City Opera's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.

It's the perfect opportunity to relive one of your favorite childhood fairy tales set to beautiful music with memorable tunes such as "Impossible; It's Possible," "In My Own Little Corner," "Stepsisters' Lament," and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" Under the guidance of Musical Director Catherine Giel, Conductor Michael Giel, and Artistic Director Michael Nutter, Cinderella is presented by an All-Atlanta cast including Sarah Peavey, Lawson Anderson, Heather Witt, Tafee Patterson, Lesley Ann Friend, and Kat Uhle.

Director Michael Nutter
Scenic Design Noah Aronson
Cinderella Sarah Peavy
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


A Modern-Day Fairy Tale
by playgoer
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Capitol City Opera Company's "Cinderella" uses scene design by Noah Aronson that initially shows a village with timbered, medieval buildings. This is not a period-piece fairy tale, though, as is immediately made obvious to the audience by a boy bicycling across the stage and tossing a newspaper in front of one building. This is a "Cinderella" in modern dress.

The modern-day trappings really don't distract. Cinderella being unnoticed in her glasses, leggings, and oversized shirt plays nicely against the cliché of the plain, bespectacled secretary blossoming the moment her glasses come off. Since much of the musical takes place at a ball, there are plenty of pretty gowns to go around too.

Given that "Cinderella" is being presented by an opera company, the singing is the primary focus, perhaps too much so. Lawson Anderson, as the prince, has a glorious baritone, but he spends more time rounding his tones than rounding out his character. A little more personality would have helped. It must have been difficult for him, though, to play against a father (Ryan Ceciliani) who is basically his age, but looks younger. Other than the King, though (who got every laugh from his comical part), the cast is pretty much age-appropriate.

The standouts are in Cinderella's family. Sarah Peavey's Cinderella is attractive (even with glasses!) and appropriately put-upon by a grotesque stepmother (Tafee Patterson) tottering around on ridiculously high high heels, eyebrows painted halfway up her forehead. Of the stepsisters, one is blonde and pinched (Kat Uhle) and one is brunette and oversized (Lesley Anne Friend). Ms. Friend's performance is the standout, her every lackadaisical movement encouraging titters of amusement from the audience. She even has the good sense to tone down the operatic quality of her voice throughout most of the evening, only rising up an octave into full Wagnerian diva mode for one passage in "Lovely Night," giving the audience yet another laugh.

The godmother is played winningly and confidently by Heather Witt, although she is given business with a telescoping cigarette holder/tea stirrer/magic wand that doesn't really work. Still, she's a delight to see and hear. The ensemble also work well in the show, but there seemed to be very little harmony in the choral numbers, especially "Ten Minutes Ago." For a show that is so well sung, that surprised me.

The timbered buildings of the opening later turn around to become Cinderella's house on stage left and royal seating on stage right. For the first of two act breaks, they are wheeled off, and a lovely London skyline silhouette is used as backing for the ball scene. The one element missing is a grand staircase for Cinderella to appear on and descend to rapturous "oohs" and "aahs." Here, she basically just appears in the middle of the room, and the impact is not overwhelming, not underwhelming, just basically whelming.

The dancing in the ballroom scene is also of the whelming variety, with the choreography of Annette Lewis and Emily Stewart not taxing any member of the cast. The main impression is of a background of uniform swaying in which Ms. Friend's character Joy can steal comic focus by being just a little off-beat.

This is a fine production of "Cinderella," letting Rodgers & Hammerstein's score and story come through front and center. It's not the best production of "Cinderella" ever done in the area, and it's not the best production Capitol City Opera Company has produced, but it's all-around fun. The marriage of musical comedy and opera-level voices isn't always a match made in heaven, but it certainly works for a marriage in Cinderella's fairy tale world. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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