The McLean Theater Alliance is ready to whisk its audience away with their spring play, the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of “Cinderella.”
“I love this show. My daughter loved this show growing up, and when they suggested it for our spring production, I was thrilled,” said director Maggie Kern.
There are some slight differences in this tale compared with the better-known Disney version, she said. “This is the version that first aired in 1957 with Julie Andrews as Cinderella, which was recently rediscovered and put out on DVD,” Kern said. “Some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s cutest songs are in this version, like ‘Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful’ and ‘Ten Minutes Ago,’” she said.
Calling the play “a lovely fairy tale full of romance and magic set to music,” Kern said her cast ranges in age from 8 years old to around 60 years old and is complemented by “a wonderful orchestra and musical director.”
This is the first time the three Berkowitz sisters of McLean, Maria, 8; Margaret, 11; and Melissa, 14, have been onstage together.
The girls were cast in the ensemble, Margaret said, but Melissa also had a part as a chef and one of the prince’s perspective brides.
“We like that we’re all in this play together,” she said.
“Musicals are so much fun to do, it’s a great place to be together,” Melissa said.
DAVE KAHN said audiences should know that “this is a full, two-hour Broadway-style performance” best suited for theater lovers over the age of 5. Kahn plays the part of the king.
“The play is OK for children, but there’s really something for everyone,” said Kimberly Young, a member of the ensemble. “You can’t have a more classic story than Cinderella.”
In the starring roles, Katie Golden’s Cinderella finds her prince in Geoff Hardy.
“I auditioned for this part,” Golden said. “I hadn’t done theater for years, and I wanted to get back into it. I was really drawn to the story and the music.”
This is Hardy’s debut role, so he didn’t have a preference when he auditioned.
“I knew what I was getting into,” Hardy said about his singing role, “I just wanted to get into the show.”
The part of the prince is “pretty much the same” as in the version he remembers, he said.
“I read the Grimm's fairy tale version and some from other countries for research,” Golden said. “I wanted to make the character my own and not imitate Julie Andrews.”
Their costumes were designed “so we’d match and look like we belonged together,” she said. “My mom made the ball gown and I made the poor costume and I think [Hardy’s] costumes were based on mine.”
The play will be held Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. at the Alden Community Theater at the McLean Community Center. The final weekend of the play will be next week, Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14, with discounts available for seniors, students, McLean residents and large groups.