"Cinderella" Takes Wallman Hall Stage in November

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The classic tale "Cinderella" is coming to Wallman Hall when the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts and Town & Gown Players present the musical in November.

The story is universal, but it took the award-winning song writing duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to bring "Cinderella" to television, which was a relatively new medium when the story first aired in 1957. The score features the now classic tunes "In My Own Little Corner" and "Ten Minutes Ago."

Cora Childress, junior theatre major from Parkersburg, plays Cinderella in the rags to riches story. The role was written for Julie Andrews, who was already known for her work on Broadway in the 1950s. It was reprised by Lesley Ann Warren in 1965 and adapted for pop-singer Brandy in 1997.

Fairmont native Dani Brake DeVito, who has played many roles in Town & Gown productions including Maria in "The Sound of Music," plays the Fairy Godmother. Her duet with Cinderella, "Impossible, It's Possible" transforms a pumpkin into a carriage and Cinderella's rags in a ball gown. Senior theatre major Jane Ryan, under the mentorship of faculty designer Troy Snyder, has the challenge of making that magical transformation. Ryan is designing the set, which includes the stepfamily home, the carriage and the palace.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" is musical fun for the entire family. Hannah Weakley plays Cinderella's stepmother, who is bitterly disappointed in the comic stepsisters, played by Marc Cornes and Jamie A. Clegg. After watching the Prince dance with the beautiful stranger who came late to the ball, they lament, "Why would a fellow want a girl like her?"

The royal family has its own struggles. Like many couples, King and Queen (Matthew Scanlon and Elisha Marie Nestor) argue over how much money is being spent on the ball. Newcomer Chris Vickers plays the Prince, who is certain he will not find a bride at the ball. When he meets Cinderella, he asks the musical question: "Do I love you because you're beautiful or are you beautiful because I love you?" Other cast members include Anthony host as the Herald; Rennes Carbaugh as the Chef; and Tyler Kovar as the Steward. The ensemble features Morgan Davis, Kailee Latocha, Andrea Loss, Anthony Marchese, Sarah Morgan, Jeremiah Ripley, M. Lanette Six, Bev Slagle, Robert Sundin, Catherine Smith, Amy Snyder, Gracie Tillman, Mary Tillman, Billy Tobin, Lori Williams, Melissa Wood and Christopher Yost. Stage managers are Jenn Scholtz and Kayla Alred. The show is directed by Dr. Francene Kirk. The musical direction is by R.J. Nestor, and the choreography is by Liz Rossi.

Tickets can be purchased at the Masquers' box office by calling (304) 367-4240. "Cinderella" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 14 and 20 on the Wallman Hall stage. Tickets are $12.

Sign language interpreting and other accommodations for people with disabilities are available by request. The Nov. 14 matinee performance of "Cinderella" will feature sign language interpreting.