Every child knows the story of Cinderella, but it’s safe to say that most of them probably haven’t seen it portrayed quite the way that Raleigh Little Theatre does it. This play is a super-hyper Disneyesque version of the classic story with lots of fun and laughter along the way, and is a perfect way to introduce children to the joys of live theatre. There are even a few fun twists and turns for the adults here too.
The adorable Hailey Best stars as the story’s heroine, but it’s the hilarious stepsisters that really get the audience in an uproar. Henrietta (Timothy Cherry) and Gertrude (M. Dennis Poole) look as ugly as humanly possible in their wonderfully tacky costumes designed by Vicki Olson. The Fairy Godmother (Jillian Varner) is also a sight to behold in her purple sequined dress and matching purple hair. Color and crazy comic energy abound throughout the performance, but there is also a nice touch of tenderness to the show. Prince Charming (Pelham Thomas Jacobs) and Young Prince Charming’s (John Coleman Demers) soulful duet, “If I Gave You a Silken Ribbon,” is so smart and sweet that even adult viewers are touched. The song, like many others in the performance, was written by Raleigh’s own Susan A. Strickland and Haskell Fitz-Simons, but it’s good enough to be on the soundtrack to any animated fairy tale.
One of the best things about this show, especially for the kids, is that it has no qualms about involving the audience. Viewers are asked to sneeze along during “The Sneeze Polka,” and dreamy eyed little girls are given the opportunity to try on Cinderella’s famous glass slipper. Best of all, the entire audience is invited to meet the cast and have their programs signed after the show. There’s so much magic and entertainment going on that even the youngest viewers don’t have time to grow restless. This is, in short, the perfect children’s show.
Cinderella will run through Sunday, December 19. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.raleighlittletheatre.org. Viewers are invited to remain in the lobby after the show to meet and greet with the cast, a very special treat for excited young audience members.