“It’s a show for all ages.” says senior Grace Khachaturian, in reference to the upcoming Centennial production of Cinderella. “It has so many good qualities and life lessons.”
Dances are being perfected, overskirts are being sewn, and last minute finishing touches are being made in preparation for showtime, which is rapidly approaching. Khachaturian plays the part of Cinderella herself and describes it as “the ultimate dream role.”
“We have been practicing almost every day since it is so close to the show,” says senior Tristan Antonson. He is president of the Drama club and ensemble dancer in this year’s production. “My favorite part has the be designing the set,” he says, “it’s more of a chance to contribute to making the show.” While Antonson loves and singing and dancing onstage he is not looking forward to having to “remove the outer layer of skin” taking off the stage makeup after shows.
While everyone knows the typical Disney version of Cinderella with the “bibbity bobbity boos'” and singing mice, Centennial’s drama department is taking a different, more classic approach to the childhood favorite, written by Rogers and Hammerstein. Together, they were the most prolific duo until the creation of Les Miserables. They created tons of musicals, making Cinderella in 1959. This particular musical was the first to be made for television in color, which is why it is a mere 90 minutes in total showtime. Centennial’s performance will be based off of a later version of the same show made in the 90’s acted by popular stars still known today like Whitney Housten, Brandy, and Whoopie Goldberg. While there are no talking animals, and the classic Disney songs will not be sung, Cinderella will still arrive to the ball in a magical pumpkin and make an appearance in a magnificent blue ballgown.
“I remember going to my aunt’s house to see this television show growing up,” says director Ms. Aldridge. “I think that’s probably why it means so much to me.”
Aldridge serves as the artistic vision for Cinderella doing everything from telling the actors stage directions, to set construction, concessions, publicity, costumes, and so much more. When interviewing Aldridge, she even got emotional when describing the magic. “If Cinderella is half as pretty as I think it is going to be,” she said, “it is going to be a really great show.”
There is no denying that this will be a girl dominated show. “Last year there was so many guy roles in Damn Yankees that there wasn’t a lot of parts for the girls.” This is part of the reason why the production of Cinderella was chosen. The girls will all be wearing huge wedding-type dresses, adding beauty to and already mystical waltz. This scene, Aldridge admits, is her favorite by far. “And the music,” she adds putting a hand to her heart, “is just love.”
Part of what makes Cinderella so magical is the suspension of belief. Khachaturian has been doing a lot of publicity for the show, and she meets little kids who aspire to be just like her – a princess. “Seeing the reaction of all the little kids,” she explained with a smile, “…they’re enchanted because they actually believe I am her.”
“It doesn’t matter what type of person you are, or what race – we all desire everlasting love.” Aldridge says. The relatable yearning of dreams coming true is part of what makes the show remain popular generation after generation. So, for a chance to see your peers sing and dance together, and possibly bond with a younger sibling – go see Cinderella starting November 13th at 7 o’clock. They are also performing on the 14th at 7 o’clock, the 15th at 2 o’clock and 7 o’clock, and the 16th at 2 o’clock. Tickets are a small price of five dollars for children and students and seven dollars for adults in exchange for an evening filled with music, true love, and a bit of pure magic.