Everybody has a Cinderella. Whether or not it’s the 1950 Disney animated model, 1997’s made-for-TV reside motion model starring singers Brandy and Whitney Houston or the 2021 Amazon film musical, the story of a poor woman who will get chosen by prince charming has withstood the take a look at of time.
Ricardo Aponte (Within the Heights and On Your Toes!, additionally at Aurora) is doing double responsibility as director and choreographer for this manufacturing. Aponte is a dancer first, so the choreography shines, particularly within the execution of the waltzes on the ball. That is additionally the place his directorial selections are stronger. Within the non-dancing scenes, there are a number of moments the place he may stand to unfold out the ensemble onstage a bit extra. There’s additionally some animal puppetry that would use some refining and extra embodiment of these animal traits.
Nonetheless, the principal actors greater than make up for these issues. India S. Tyree (Tune and Dance) makes the position of Cinderella her personal. She leans into Ella’s quirky, socially awkward moments and has the viewers within the palm of her hand from “In My Personal Little Nook” to the tip. As standard, her singing voice is perfection. Jackson Damage hits all the correct notes as Prince Topher and appears fully enamored with the woman within the glass slippers.
Maybe attributable to this being the 2013 up to date model, the connection between Cinderella and her stepsisters, Charlotte (Galen Crawley) and Gabrielle (Sweet McLellan), feels quite a bit much less adversarial. In actual fact, Crawley and McLellan make the stepsisters rattling close to loveable. Crawley’s efficiency because the bratty and entitled Charlotte is a standout, particularly within the “Stepsister’s Lament.” Her vitality and presence are the place this musical must be all the time.
Rhyn McLemore shines as Marie, the fairy godmother. As loopy Marie, she adopts a physicality that’s typical of the hags within the Brothers Grimm’s tales, however because the godmother, she is playful, sleek and hits each be aware. Her and Tyree’s stage chemistry in “Not possible” is gorgeous to look at.
This fairy story world is enlivened by Kat Conley’s set design, which seems like pages ripped from a storybook. An enormous open ebook with an enormous clock rising from it anchors the stage. Different set items appear like pop-up ebook cutouts, akin to Cinderella’s home and the palace. The beige and black sketchbook idea is enhanced by Ben Rawson’s dreamy lighting design, awash with blue and purple lights — and naturally twinkling stars.
The one design stumbling block on this manufacturing are Alan Yeong’s costumes. The townspeople’s clothes are a bit over-designed, whereas Cinderella’s wedding ceremony robe is totally under-designed. At one level, Cinderella’s plain attire are supposed to rework into stunning ball robes in entrance of the viewers, however on opening evening there have been some points with the snaps and pulls on the attire, so a little bit of the stage magic was misplaced. The actors additionally appeared to be struggling to maneuver in a number of the robes on account of match and size. The clothes look fairly, however the performance doesn’t appear to be fairly there.
That stated, as the primary musical on the new Lawrenceville Arts Heart, Cinderella is nice like your favourite sweet from starting to finish. As Aurora’s co-founders Anthony Rodriguez and Ann-Carol Pence level out of their program be aware, with ebook banning, racial stress and bullying confronting us on daily basis, Cinderella is a reminder that kindness at all times wins.
And, for anybody trying to be swept off their ft for a few hours, this present does it.
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Kelundra Smith, an ArtsATL Editor-at-Massive, is a critic and humanities journalist whose mission is to attach folks to cultural experiences and one another. Her work seems in The New York Instances, ESPN’s The Undefeated, American Theatre and elsewhere. She is a member of the American Theatre Critics Affiliation and the Society of Skilled Journalists.