CINDERELLA! CINDERELLA! Brings Life Lessons and Laughs to a Classic Fairy Tale

by Talia Kaplan

Anna Phillips as Cinderella; Eric Rupp as Tom the Cat in Celebration Theater's CINDERELLA! CINDERELLA! running in Lansdowne, PA through May 20.

Written by the Brothers Grimm, Cinderella has been adapted into many books, plays, and movies, perhaps the most well known adaptation being Disney’s famous cartoon. Today, Cinderella is a popular choice for Children’s Theatre. The classic combination of a kindhearted girl, a lost shoe, and a love-struck prince captures children’s hearts. Celebration Theater adds humor and a few twists and turns to Cinderella, and Bibbidi, bobbidi, boo! – you have CINDERELLA! CINDERELLA!, a fairy tale that teaches children about overcoming adversity and speaking up for themselves.

The cast had a good rapport, playing well off of one another. Anna Phillips (a very sweet Cinderella) and Eric Rupp (feline companion Tom the Cat) portrayed an amiable friendship. Tricia Brennan (Lady Lotta) scored many smiles and laughs with her boy crazy behavior. Unfortunately, there were times when lines could not be heard; the actors could have projected more and spoken more clearly. Also, at times I would have liked to have seen a little more energy and sparkle to really sell the magic of the fairy tale.

There were moments when I felt as though technical challenges affected the quality of the production. When music was played, it really helped to move the scenes and set changes along. However, there were some silent transitions that led to dead time, which could have been avoided if music was present. Once or twice, characters would speak in the dark, and in some scenes, I would have preferred the lighting to be a little brighter, encompassing more of the stage. On another note, Josselyn Byrnes’s costuming was simple yet effective.

However, CINDERELLA! CINDERELLA! really conveyed a wonderful message about standing up for yourself and doing what is right. Edith Weiss’s script included a prince who cared about personality over looks and a fairy godmother who encouraged Cinderella to take her life into her own hands and stand up to her malevolent stepsisters. Plus, director Linda Squibb should be praised for her blocking – many of the laughs were due to physical comedy!

In short, while CINDERELLA! CINDERELLA! experienced some challenges its opening night, its wonderful message and comedic moments should not be forgotten. I praise Celebration Theater for teaching such valuable lessons to their audience.

Script by Edith Weiss
Directed by Linda Squibb
May 11 – 20, 2012
Celebration Theater
at Penn Wood High School Theater
100 Green Avenue
Lansdowne, PA

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