I walked into the Bartlesville Community Center on Jan. 16, I saw a flood of little girls in blue Cinderella dresses, wearing tiaras, princess shoes, with scepters in their hands. This was a heartwarming sight at the Broadway in Bartlesville! second installment in the 2017-18 season: Roger+Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”.
I was apprehensive about going to the show with the snow and cold temperatures, and I was thoroughly surprised to see how packed the auditorium was. People of all ages turned out to see the show.
After getting to my seat, my initial view of the set was breathtaking– an array of beautifully painted trees and flowers. It is crazy to think that only a few minutes later this forest would transform into a cottage and a palace.
As the show began, an announcement was made that the role of Cinderella, normally portrayed by Tatyana Lubov, would be portrayed by Victoria Newhuis. It was also announced that the roles normally filled by Gabriel Amato would be portrayed by bartian-turned-broadway-star Eric Geibel. The crowd went wild.
I knew that this was not going to be a traditional Disney rendition of “Cinderella”, as this is Roger and Hammerstein’s interpretation. I suspected there would be twists and jokes, and was not left disappointed.
From funny little comments to the unexpected twist that Cinderella does not lose her shoe at the ball, this play was skillfully crafted by the same people who created the well-known play “Oklahoma!” This cute show also brought to the audience’s attention issues like corruption in government along with the virtue of kindness.
Going into the show, I was curious how they would pull off the quick changes when Cinderella’s dress transforms. This aspect was very intriguing, as the costume designers managed to make this seemingly magical. As an acting student, I’m sure this took a ton of rehearsals to perfect.
Another magical aspect I was curious about was the carriage. They managed to make the carriage seem like it was travelling, even with limited space on the stage.
I was equally impressed by the choreography in this show. There were some actors who performed amazing acrobatic feats, and the dancing at the ball was mesmerizing.
With all of this in mind, I felt that intermission was oddly placed, leaving the prince mid-sentence. This works much better with TV shows, and I felt like perhaps the intermission should have been placed behind the stepsister’s song.
The Community Center could have made the temperatures more bearable though, using ice melts or sand in the icy parking lot could have prevented people from slipping walking in, and as always there is never enough parking at the Community Center. The temperature inside the auditorium itself was also a tad chilly, but I understand this as the stage gets toasty under the lights.
Despite this, the actors managed to make a show jam packed with fictional magic come alive in a way that was absolutely stunning. “Cinderella” was a heartwarming family show on a frigid evening.