Moorestown Theater Company’s production of DISNEY’S CINDERELLA KIDS & PRINCESS SING-ALONG was a huge hit with little princesses of all ages. The Disney Corporation has finally licensed the rights to its ever so popular movies as stage productions for kids. This is a tremendous bonus for young theatre companies everywhere as budding young artists are given the opportunity to hone their skills and transform themselves into some of their favorite film characters, enjoying the stories and songs of the Disney Classics.
The classic story of Cinderella was presented by a cast of 30 young people ages 6-16 with the title role being performed by 8th grader Rachel Reedy. Reedy did a lovely job as the humble young serving girl turned princess. Other main characters were portrayed by teenagers with 10th grader Melissa Tucker stealing the show with her performance of the evil step mother. Tucker was convincing as the cruel and conniving stepmother and her singing voice stopped the show in a spotlight moment. The remainder of the cast was filled out by a chorus of enthusiastic elementary and middle school students. Keep an eye out for rising young star 3rd grader Sara Chesnick who lit up the stage with every scene as the mouse Jaq and townsperson. Also of note was the hilarious duo of 4th graders Aren Duffy as the King and Justin Leusner as the Grand Duke. These young boys embodied the phrase “there are no small parts only small actors” as they grabbed their moment in the spotlight and truly made their stars shine.
After a brief intermission the audience was treated to a PRINCESS SING-ALONG. This was the highlight of the evening for the countless young princesses in the audience who all dressed in their best gowns, tiaras and wands for the occasion. Seven young girls were each selected to perform the solo trademark song of their princess and then lead a second verse in sing-along with the audience. My hat is off to Artistic Director Mark Morgan for this brilliant concept. The young performers ranging from 4th to 6th grade were given an opportunity to shine and build confidence while a virtual mosh pit of young princesses ages 2 and up crowded the stage the be near them. After the show the princesses greeted the audience and posed for pictures. Breakfast with Santa or the Easter Bunny had nothing on this PRINCESS SING-ALONG. Of particular note, 4th grader Jilly Pizzi had moments of brilliance in her performance of Pocahontas where she actually gave me goosebumps. With some vocal training Pizzi has tremendous potential to be a musical theatre powerhouse. The youngest princess, 3rd grader Claire Flynn, astounded the audience with her rendition of Once Upon a Dream as Sleeping Beauty. Flynn completely commanded the stage as Aurora and carried herself with the poise and confidence of any true princess. An honorable mention to 4th grader Juliet Morgan who sang a beautiful rendition of Belle’s less familiar Home from the Broadway version of BEAUTY & THE BEAST. The young audience struggled with the unknown song and the late hour of the evening but Morgan was a true stage veteran and was unfazed by the distracted young audience.
Overall it was a lovely evening. Moorestown Theater Company is to be commended for building a strong educational theatre program building future young stars and young audiences. Future shows on the schedule for this year include DISNEY’S BEAUTY & THE BEAST April 12 & 13, DISNEY’S 101 DALMATIONS May 8-11, BYE BYE BIRDIE July 18-27, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE November 15-23 and WILLY WONKA JR December 6-14. In addition, Moorestown Theater Company offers a Summer Stage Program, acting and singing classes. For more information call 856-778-8357 or email info@MoorestownTheaterCompany.org.
DISNEY’S CINDERELLA & PRINCESS SING ALONG
Music & Lyrics by Mack David, Al Hoffman & Jerry Livingston
Book Adapted by Marcy Heisler
Music Adapted & Arranged by Bryan Louiselle
Directed by Gina Amato
March 13-16, 2013
Moorestown Theater Company
Hope Community Church
235 West Main Street