Opera House Players’ ‘Cinderella’ romantic and beautiful
By Kory Loucks
Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011 4:06 PM EST
EAST WINDSOR — Some might say that putting on a production after a week without electricity might verge on the impossible, but not for first-time Opera House Players Director Barbara M. Washer and her extremely capable cast.
They might have been thinking about those marvelous lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and the terrific music by Richard Rodgers from the song “Impossible,” that Cinderella and the fairy Godmother sing, to carry them through.
“Impossible things are happening every day,” the lyrics say.
The Cinderella fairytale is well-known: A poor girl, treated terribly by her stepmother and her daughters, gets to go to the Prince’s ball, where he falls in love with her at first sight.
Caitin Fahey plays Cinderella with understated conviction. She is believable as the abused stepdaughter and simply marvelous as the transformed beauty. How she completes her costume change in seconds flat including the hairpiece is amazing.
Fahey has a lovely, strong, and lyrical voice and is animated and charming when she sings “In My Owner.”
Even though this musical clearly appeals to young girls, there’s some grown-up humor, too.
King Maximillian, played by the robust and hearty David Climo, has some amusing lines, and he makes the most of them, such as when they sing the rousing “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” where he protests that it’s the king who is paying for it.
They want to have wines from around the world, but the king insists they have the wine from his country. “And the wine from our country, is beer,” he states.
Possibly one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful,” is sung by Prince Christopher, played by Andrew Small, and Cinderella.
Oscar and Hammerstein must have liked the song too, because they have Queen Constantina and the Prince sing it again, and again at the end of the show.
Small has a natural sound and carries himself with the brooding confidence of a prince.
Julie M. Martini plays the queen with a sweet sense of playfulness and a clear strong voice.
Reva Kleppel has the perfect supercilious sneer as the haughty stepmother and does a lovely turn bossing Cinderella around.
Megan Graul plays the ignorant Portia and Khara Hoyer plays dour Joy, the two stepsisters. Graul has the ditsy, dippy airhead attitude pegged, while Hoyer is equally fine with a constant scowl on her face.
The two sing one of the most delightful comic duets, the “Stepsisters Lament,” with hysterical lyrics like “She’s a frosty little bubble, with a flimsy kind of charm, and with very little trouble, I could break her little arm.”
It’s really wonderful stuff and they are wonderfully wicked. Their oversized Marie Antoinette wigs with bows and feathers, along with the stepmother’s white wig are ridiculous and funny too, with hair and makeup design by Erica Romeo.
The glorious period costumes, with costume design by the dependable Moonean Field, help this show immensely.
Walker also adds a light touch by employing a sprite and a pixie, played by the delightful Jessica Turgeon and sweet Christine Zdebski.
The two play different characters throughout, and even have a marionette rat puppet that works well — nicely done by puppet and mask creator Robin Hillary McCahill.
The set by Jill Abele Butcher, who also is the scenic artist, is simple but works well, with many fast scene changes. And that pumpkin coach is everything a fairytale coach should be.
The orchestra, led by Music Director Deborah Curylo, was lyrical with a light touch and thankfully never overwhelmed the performers.
As they say, the show must go on, and it certainly does, in the romantic, beautiful production of “Cinderella” at the Opera House Players, running though Sunday, Nov. 27.
Theater: Opera House Players
Location: 107 Main St., Broad Brook section of East Windsor.
Production: Music by Richard Rodgers. Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Directed by Barbara M. Washer. Music direction by Deborah Curylo. Choreography by Bryna Kearney. Costumes by Moonyean Field. Set design by Jill Abele Butcher. Lighting operation by Diane St. Amand. Stage Manager Lauren Grottole. Hair and make up by Erica Romeo. Sound operation by Dylan Fields.
Show times: Thur, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through Nov. 27.
Tickets: $21, $17 for seniors over 60 and children 12 and under. Call 860-292-6068 or visit their website at www.operahouseplayers.org.
(4 stars Excellent 3 stars Good 2 stars Fair 1 star Poor )