With something old, new, borrowed, and blue, director Lawrence B. Munsey marries aspects of the three different versions of Rogers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA into a magical and musical fairytale now playing at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia through January 23rd.
Originally written for television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, CINDERELLA was to be reborn with a new TV adaptation of Rogers and Hammeristein’s musical in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren and most recently in 1997 starring Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother.
Now the TV classic comes to life on stage starring the vocally entrancing, Jessica Lauren Ball as Cinderella and dazzling beauty, Mary Searcy as the Fairy Godmother.
Did I say “dazzling?” The show opens with Mary Searcy in a dazzling gold costume that gives audience goers an immediate, and let me say audible reaction of “wow!”
Director and costume designer, Mr. Munsey really has a grasp of what costumes visually look good on stage and on which cast member.
Cinderella’s ballgown is everything that you would expect for a princess. I’m sure there wasn’t a girl(young and young at heart) in the audience that didn’t imagine herself in the beautiful blue ballgown, complete with elbow-length white gloves and of course the glass slippers!
Audience members will remember Matthew Schleigh’s Helen Hayes nominated performance as Buddy Holly. Using his knack for delivering true-to-life performances, Mr. Schleigh as the Prince is able to portray not only a prince, but also a vulnerable, real man in his search for true love.
Combine the talents of Matthew Scheligh with Jessica Lauren Ball who is one of the best musical theatre actresses in the area and you have an acting team powerhouse!
A little touch of magic in this production is that of the use of puppets created by Kate and Tony Wackerie.
Children of all ages will be entranced as they see four mice prancing their way through doors, a large, furry cat jumping on a chair, and a graceful bird flying through the center of town.
Cinderella doesn’t seem to mind the mice considering her wicked stepsisters, who, in a Toby’s twist are played by two men and her wicked stepmother, played by Heather Marie Beck are even bigger pests!
A stand-out performance that should not be overlooked is that of Dan Sonntag as Lionel, the herald.
Mr. Sonntag is able to portray a blithesome herald who is looking out for the prince’s best interest while looking out for his own by putting the King and Queens requests first.
Rogers and Hammerstein delivers not only their trademark first-class music, but also some memorable lines that could have easily been turned into songs.
For instance, the Fairy Godmother in speaking to Cinderella saying “Every dream starts with a wish, but it’s what you do with it that counts.”
This holiday season, make your own dreams come true by seeing CINDERELLA at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia!
For information and tickets, please call the Toby’s Dinner Theatre box office at 410-730-8311.