A Musical Fairytale Featuring Actors and Puppets

A Musical Fairytale Featuring Actors and Puppets

Centreville High presents ‘Cinderella: Enchanted Edition.’

Andre Jones and Madelyn Regan as the Prince and Cinderella. The curtain rises Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, at 2 and 7 p.m. (the Cappies performance); and Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m.

Andre Jones and Madelyn Regan as the Prince and Cinderella. The curtain rises Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, at 2 and 7 p.m. (the Cappies performance); and Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m.

A treat for all ages, “Cinderella: Enchanted Edition” will soon burst onto the Centreville High stage. It’s the school’s Cappies show and will feature a classic tale, well-loved songs – and puppets.

“The cast members have been working hard to bring these wonderful, iconic characters to life,” said Director Patrick McGee. “Our actors are talented, not only in their scene work, but in finding the little moments that make their characters shine.”

The curtain rises Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, at 2 and 7 p.m. (the Cappies performance); and Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, adults; $10, students, at the door and via www.theatrecentreville.com.

“This was the first animated movie I saw, as a toddler, and I grew up with the ’90s television version starring Brandi and Whitney Houston,” said McGee. “The Enchanted Edition of the show is based on that version.”

And since he studied puppetry in college, along with theater, he incorporated it into Centreville’s production. “The audience will first see a book cover opening and a shadow-puppet screen, and we’ll end the show the same way,” said McGee. “We have hand puppets of mice, plus a dove and a cat named Charles – who both turn into footmen for Cinderella’s carriage.”

There’s a cast and crew of more than 40, and McGee said this musical’s characters, songs and dances “allow the actors, as well as the technicians, the chance to further develop their skills and really blossom. The audience will like this enchanted fairytale that has the nostalgia of the ’90s, while being a familiar story that people ages 3-103 will enjoy.”

Portraying Cinderella is sophomore Madelyn Regan. “Cinderella’s hardworking, hopeful, imaginative and determined to make the best of what she has and, hopefully, have a better future,” said Regan. “She lives with her evil stepmother and stepsisters, and her closest friends are the animals in the house. She’s fascinated by the world around her and what she experiences whenever she’s outside.”

“I love her songs and how her confidence grows throughout the story,” continued Regan. “And I love how the Fairy Godmother helps her pursue her dream, but that Cinderella has to find it within herself, first.”

Her favorite song is “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” because “it’s so high energy, and you learn the stories of everybody in the marketplace as they interact,” she said. “I hope everyone will enjoy our show. We have lots of fun special effects, like fog and puppets, and the energy of everybody in the cast and crew is definitely infectious.”

Senior Gabriel Amiryar plays the king. “He thinks he has all the power in the world when, truly, he’s clumsy and unorganized,” said Amiryar. “He’s easily frazzled but has good intentions. I love this role; it’s a more serious one than I’ve played before. I’ve enjoyed exploring the king’s character and his fun lines. And I also like his relationship with his son and his wife – he loves them and wants the best for them both.”

Amiryar especially likes the song, “A Lovely Night,” sung by Regan as Cinderella, her stepfamily and the female ensemble. “It’s so lively and fun,” he said. “And some of the ensemble members are singing as chipmunks and mice, so their voices are bubbly and high-pitched. It’s an upbeat and happy song.”

He said people will like “how true to the story this show is and how magical it feels while you’re watching it. ‘Cinderella’ is a feel-good story, and we do it justice. We also have some really cool tricks and magic that’ll wow the audience.”

Portraying the Fairy Godmother is freshman Sienna Nguyen. “She’s a motherly figure to Cinderella, but with cool sass – a chill mom,” explained Nguyen. “She’s always trying to take up the entire space. She’s big and loud and almost embarrassing at times, but in a funny way. She acts as the mom Cinderella never had – one with unconditional love and care.”

Nguyen, too, is enjoying her role “because it’s so iconic. Playing her and bringing back the nostalgic movie I saw as a child is so exciting to do. I just love her humor and line delivery – when I pump sass into her lines, they change from mildly funny to gut-busting. And it’s fun being in a comedy and doing something so outlandish.”

“It’s Possible” is her favorite number. “I get to sing with Cinderella and the ensemble; and at the end of the song, there’s such great harmonization,” said Nguyen. “And it’s the act-one closer, so it ends with a bang.”

She said the show’s characters will especially appeal to the audience, but that’s not all. “The set has lots of moving pieces and transforms into other things, which is unique,” added Nguyen. “This entire year, we’ve focused on achieving dreams, and this play’s lesson is that it’s never too late to have a dream come true.”

Junior Elliot Carreon has three roles – the king’s understudy, an ensemble member and a puppet mouse. “Being a mouse is really fun,” he said. “You see about eight of us at a time with the stepfamily and the Fairy Godmother. It’s great being behind the actors onstage and giving a personality to the mouse itself. My mouse likes to attack the other mice for fun, but they’re in on it. We’re operating hand puppets, and they’re so cute.”

Carreon especially likes the song, “The Stepsisters’ Lament,” saying, “The way Kelly Simpkins and Antonella Foschi sing it and do their choreography, they bring so much to their characters and are really fun to watch.” 

He said audiences will love this production of “Cinderella” because “the cast is brilliant, and everyone likes being their characters – you can tell by the way they play them. People will really enjoy the music, too.”

Heliya Jafari, a freshman, is the assistant stage manager and works on tech crew. Regarding the set, she said, “Audiences will see an olden-times marketplace – with bread, cheese, meat, etc. – that looks magical. It’s like a busy, noisy and lively bazaar. I know the effort and time that went into creating these scenes, and the audience will enjoy taking it all in. It’s to be savored.”

Later in the story, the main set will transform into the castle ballroom. But mainly, said Jafari, “People will see the village where the marketplace is. And the two sides of the stage will have constant scenes – one is the stepfamily’s house, and the other is a room in the castle.”

Everyone in the 16-person crew helped build the set. “Our set head, Katie Powderly, designed the set, and it’s really colorful and pretty,” said Jafari. “I work on the soundtrack, and I’m thinking of going into sound for a career, so I’m enjoying it.” Besides the set and story, she added, audiences “will really like the singing because it’s just so good.”