Storybook Musical Theatre, the Abington-based, professional children’s theater company, will open its 23rd season with an original adaptation of the well-known Charles Perrault tale of CINDERELLA, the story of a young woman who holds her dreams close to her heart and sees them become reality. The family musical first plays from December 17 to 30 at the Gratz College Theater, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, PA., then January 13 to 17, 2015 at the Bluett Theater of St. Joseph’s University, 56th & Overbrook Av, Philadelphia. Tickets are $12 for children, $14 for adults with school and group discounts available. For reservations and further information: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org.
Adapted by Storybook’s Artistic Director, Patricia Goldberg with original music by Kevin Arruda, this beloved story tells of a young woman who dreams of a better life but is trapped living with a demanding stepmother, Mrs. Finch, and two clumsy and malicious stepsisters. When the King decides to hold a ball, for his son, the Prince, in order to find him a bride, an invitation goes out to all the eligible maidens in the kingdom. When it arrives at the Finch residence, the stepsisters are beyond themselves, but Cinderella is in despair because she knows she has nothing to wear to the formal affair. But just in the nick of time, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother appears to transform her into the belle of the ball, hoping to set the stage to capture the Prince’s heart.
Storybook has gathered five talented, local, professional actors for its cast:
Maggie Griffin-Smith, of Glenside, PA. plays the title role of Cinderella. Griffin-Smith, made her Storybook debut last season as Little Red Riding Hood. Recent regional credits include: Into the Woods at the Eagle Theater, Jekyll and Hyde at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Fiddler on the Roof at CenterStage. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. In addition, she is a Teaching Artist for Storybook and Theater Horizon.
Carl Smith, of Center-City Philadelphia, is making his Storybook debut in Cinderella as Prince Stefan. He has been working for the last six years with such theatre as The Arden, Bristol/Riverside, Hedgerow, People’s Light and Theatre Co. and Family Stages. He recently participated in the Cherry Hill Anti-Bully Festival with Big Splash Productions.
Playing the role of everyone’s least likable stepmother is Maryann Bucci, of Yardley, PA. Bucci was seen last season as the Grandmother in Storybook’s Little Red Riding Hood and the Queen in Princess and the Pea. Other Storybook credits: the Mother in Hansel & Gretel, Madeline in Emperor’s New Clothes, the Stepmother in Cinderella, the Mother in Rapunzel just to name a few. In addition, she is an accomplished opera singer who has appeared with Opera Philadelphia.
Emily Cheney, of Medford Lakes, N.J. plays one of the mindless, unpleasant stepsisters, Zinnia. Cheney was last seen in Storybook’s Adventures in Toyland and Princess and the Pea. Other Storybook credits: Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty & the Beast, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. Regional credits: Love’s Labour’s Lost for Tudor Productions, He & She and Berkeley Square, for East Lynne Theater, Twelfth Night, and Much to Do About Nothing for Delaware Shakespeare and A Christmas Carol for the Walnut Street Theater. She is a graduate of Rowan University.
Storybook newcomer, Johanna Dunphy, of Wyncote, PA, plays the other malcontent stepsister, Doreese. Regional credits: The Trip to Bountiful, Noises Off, On the Razzle and Kiss Me Kate at the Clarence Brown Theater, As You Like It and Julius Caesar at the Tennessee Stage Co. Local credits: The Living News at the National Constitution Center, Simulations and Zombie, the Musical at Plays and Players Theater. She is a graduate of Richmond the American International University in London.
Eleonore Thomas, of Newark, DE, plays Cinderella’s enchanted Fairy Godmother who helps her realize her dreams. Thomas is delighted to be returning to her Storybook family for Cinderella. Eleonore has been seen in several regional theatres and toured nationally with Andrea Bocelli and Julie Andrews. Favorite credits include: Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Mrs. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol. When not on stage, she teaches children the joys of science at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
Rounding out the cast is Storybook favorite, Jeff Reim, of Sewell N.J. as the forlorn King who is desperate to marry off his son. Other Storybook acting credits include: Hansel & Gretel, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Wizard of Oz, Rumpelstiltskin, and Aladdin. In addition, Jeff has composed many Storybook shows including Adventures in Toyland, The Frog Prince, Puss ‘n Boots, Alice in Wonderland and Elves and the Shoemaker. Jeff is also a director, musical director and set designer.
The director of CINDERELLA is Patricia Goldberg. Musical Director is Nancy Wiker, with costumes by Kim Hanley, settings by Pat Goldberg and lighting by Marc S. Goldberg.
Storybook Musical Theatre productions are appropriate for children age three and older. After each performance children will have an opportunity to meet the actors for handshakes, pictures, or an autograph.
For information, reservations, or directions call the box office at 215-659-8550 or check Storybook Musical Theatre’s website at www.storybookmusical.org.
PHOTO CUTLINE #1: The prince, played by Carl Smith, slips the glass slipper onto Cinderella’s foot, played by Maggie Griffin-Smith, in the Storybook Musical production of “Cinderella.”
Photos by Mike Levin
Theater/Organization Storybook Musical Theatre
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.storybookmusical.org
Theater/Organization Address: P.O.Box 473 1811 Edge Hill Rd. Abington, Pennsylvania 19001 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215)659-8550