Raleigh Little Theatre’s Musical Comedy “Cinderella” Is a Zany Fractured 17th Century French Fairy Tale

Raleigh Little Theatre will present its gala 29th annual production of Cinderella on Dec. 6-9 and 13-16 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. Director Haskell Fitz-Simons has directed all 29 RLT productions of Cinderella, which RLT first performed on Dec. 13, 1984. Fitz-Simmons, who will also choreograph show with the help of assistant choreographer Misha Nikitine, will team up with veteran Cinderella musical director Julie A. Florin to stage this delightful musical comedy, which features music by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy and a book and lyrics by Eiler, based on the familiar French fairy tale by Charles Perrault (1628-1703).

The 2012 edition of Cinderella stars Sarah Gordon as Cinderella, Sarah Winter as her Fairy Godmother, Jon Skinner as Prince Charming, Wendy De Munk as Cinderella’s evil Stepmama, and M. Dennis Poole and Tim Cherry — in glorious drag, complete with yarn wigs — as Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters Gertrude and Henrietta.

Other Cinderella “principals” include: Mark Taranto and Eric Milbanks as Fairy Godmother’s Helpers; Michael Taranto as King Darling III; Thomas Clark as the Young Prince; and Katie Regittko and Sarah Zimmer as Pages. The mice whom the Fairy Godmother transforms into ponies to pull Cinderella’s carriage include Michelle De Munk, Robbie Jackson, Emma Johnson, Betsy Jones, Millie Lynch, and Logan Powers.

The “Trouser Men” are Sydney Ferrell and Mary Fuller. The men’s ensemble includes Ryan Bliss, Calvin Ferguson, Robert Furmage, Houston Horn, Isaiah McGuire, and Tyler Smith; and the women’s ensemble includes Corinna Egge, Samantha Glover, Leanna Hall, Lauren Knott, Daryl Munroe, Heather Shinpaugh, Natalie Turgeon, and Clare Vestal.

Tim Cherry (left) and M. Dennis Poole -- shown here in 2011 with Sandi Sullivan -- will reprise their signature roles as Cinderella's ugly stepsisters Henrietta and Gertrude (photo by Stuart Wagner)
Tim Cherry (left) and M. Dennis Poole — shown here in 2011 with Sandi Sullivan — will reprise their signature roles as Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters Henrietta and Gertrude (photo by Stuart Wagner)

In addition to director Haskell Fitz-Simons, assistant choreographer Misha Nikitine, and musical director Julie Florin, the Raleigh Little Theatre creative team for the 29th edition of Cinderella includes assistant to the director Adrienne Dyson, technical director Todd Aberts, scenic designer Thomas Mauney, lighting designer Cailen Waddell, costume and wig designer Vicki Olson, sound designer and sound engineer Todd Houseknecht, mouse nanny Marie Berry, and stage manager Mike McGee. Former RLT set designers Bill Rodgers and Rick Young also created most of the show’s storybook scenery.

According to Raleigh Little Theatre:

“[2012] marks both the 29th anniversary and the 300th performance of this production …. This year, RLT is asking attendees to consider a gift to support costuming the actors in a project entitled, ‘Get Cinderella out of the ashes into her gown.’ Donors can take advantage of benefits like a signed show poster, getting their picture taken on stage with the cast, and even a cameo role in the Ball Scene at the $500 level, and gifts at any level are welcome. RLT is using the Razoo platform and using new video content and social media to promote the project.”

Raleigh Little Theatre presents CINDERELLA at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7, 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, and 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 in RLT‘s Cantey V. Sutton Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.


BOX OFFICE: 919/821-3111 or https://raleighlittletheatre.secure.force.com/.

SHOW: http://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/12-13/cinderella.html.

VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D4dF4KEHOTc.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.raleighlittletheatre.org/.

DIRECTIONS/PARKING: http://raleighlittletheatre.org/about/map-directions.html.

NOTE: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and assistive-listening devices are available for all shows.


Cinderella (background): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella (Wikipedia).

Cinderella (e-texts): http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html (from D. L. Ashliman’s folk texts, a library of folktales, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology).

Haskell Fitz-Simons: https://www.facebook.com/hakfitz (Facebook).

Donate to RLT via Razoo: http://www.razoo.com/story/Get-Cinderella-Out-Of-The-Ashes-And-Into-Her-Gown (Razoo).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).