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ArlingtonCAPPIES: Wakefield scores with tuneful 'Cinderella'

CAPPIES: Wakefield scores with tuneful ‘Cinderella’

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by CHARLOTTE LOBRING, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

Welcome to a kingdom where the impossible is possible, traveling the world is feasible with just a book, and Venetian-glass shoes can make one a queen.

Wakefield High School’s “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” is the epitome of loveliness and grace through its dedicated and lively cast, beautiful lighting and comedy that everyone can enjoy.

With music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and later Douglas Carter Beane, this rendition of the classic Cinderella tale was written for television and aired in 1957. It went to Broadway in 2013 and won 10 Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards.


The musical is based on the French fairy tale and tells the story of Ella, a young woman who dreams of a better life while acting as a servant for her demanding stepmother, Madame, who teases her for the cinders that fall on her face as she sleeps in the cold basement.

When handsome Prince Topher invites every eligible maiden in the kingdom to a ball in hopes of finding a wife, will one of Ella’s stepsisters take the crown? Or will Ella meet the love of her life with a little bit of fairy godmother help?

Tamzin Folz, as Ella, portrayed the classic character with poise and excellent strength. Folz’s singing filled the entire auditorium with gorgeous melodies. The control Folz maintained through the different vocal registers required to sing the score demonstrated advanced talent and technique not commonly found in high school productions. The audience could feel every aspect of Ella’s story, the lovely and the tragic.

Her costar, Carson Stadler, as Topher, played the dashing prince with ease and depth of emotion. Stadler’s comedic timing was on point, and the falsetto sprinkled in numerous songs was smooth and powerful.

The two actors had outstanding chemistry, as was shown when they met for the first time at the ball. Lauren Smith, who played fairy godmother Marie, accompanied the motherly character with breathtaking operatic vocals and witty quips.

What particularly stood out in this production was the talent of every individual cast member, and the antagonists certainly did not disappoint.

Isa Paley, who played Madame, was invested and vibrant in every line spoken. Paley dominated the stage, and the audience roared with laughter at the multiple one-liners. Katerina Larrick and Penelope Wagner, who played stepsisters Charlotte and Gabrielle, shined. Larrick owned the stage with dynamic vocals and comedic dances.

Wagner portrayed a softness and appealing affection with Marcos O’Connor, who played revolutionary Jean-Michel. Rand McAvoy, who played Topher’s advisor Sebastian, excelled in playing the dubious figure with suaveness.

A highlight of the show was the ensemble that made the production go above and beyond. The ensemble remained extremely organized and expressive throughout.

Enkhjin Sukhee executed flawless and emotional performances in every dance number. Savannah Daub and Syd Dewitt also charmed the audience with their puppet and onstage performances of the cheeky Fox and Raccoon.

None of the stunning performances on stage could have been made possible without the help of the talented artistic and technical team.

Student choreographers produced astonishing group numbers that exhibited multiple dance styles, including waltz, tap and polka. The lighting, designed by Sofia Arguelles, was clean and seamless and set the tone perfectly in every scene. The Wakefield pit orchestra also played the demanding score with ease and consistency, with Matthew Smith and Santi Hernandez standing out in percussion.

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” is a beautiful show full of memorable performances, stunning visuals – and a little bit of magic.

The Sun Gazette partners with the Critics and Awards Program (CAPPIES) to present student-written reviews of local high-school theater productions.
For more on the initiative, see the Web site at w

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