Cinderella with a twist

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

Opening night generates electricity into Pelham High School’s atmosphere. This year’s musical, “Cinderella,” with Special Arrangements by Rodgers and Hammerstein carries added excitement due to the new auditorium renovations.

For technical students, the new renovations created challenges.

Many of the cast and crew from Pelham High School's production of "Cinderella," playing through April 30th on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. (Contributed)

Many of the cast and crew from Pelham High School’s production of “Cinderella,” playing through April 30th on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. (Contributed)

With only a month to learn the new lighting and sound systems, tech students were anxious about managing the equipment in front of an audience—especially since “Cinderella” attracts audiences of all ages.

Indeed, many of the youngest audience members expect a bit of magic—especially those audience members in possession of wands.

Fortunately, both the technical and performance aspects are transcendent.

During both Saturdays of the production, April 23 and April 30, Stephenson and her cast are hosting a tea party with photo opportunities with the Princess and the cast of characters.

During the 1 p.m. Saturday tea parties, cupcakes will be served and party favors shared—including wands. PHS Culinary students are preparing the refreshments.

Offering the tea party transforms “Cinderella” from a school production to a community event.

“We have over 60 students involved in this production,” theatre teacher Jamie Stephenson said.

During one ballroom scene, over three dozen students occupied the stage. The festive atmosphere of singing and dancing is enhanced by dialogue that elevates this production above the ordinary musical.

“Cinderella” delivers the expected Prince and Princess, beautiful gowns and ballroom dancing; however, this version also adds layers of humor and life lessons.

Cinderella is a young woman looking for ways to make a difference in the world. She believes in the power of kindness—even in response to evil.

Cinderella chooses kindness and responds to her wicked stepmother with, in Cinderella’s words, “the three kindest words I know—I forgive you.”

In the end, Cinderella hopes that her powers of kindness and persuasion allow her to share information with the prince that will hopefully lead to better governance of the kingdom.

To find out whether this complex fairy tale comes true, and to witness the incredible talents and hard work of everyone involved, please come to PHS to experience the magic of “Cinderella.”