Play review: ‘Cinderella’ is a must-see at the Detroit Opera House

DETROIT — The classic Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” arrives at the Detroit Opera House from February 16-28. This 2013 Tony award-winning broadway musical has music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and is directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes.

Act I begins with the stage set in a forest with beautiful silvery-brown trees.  Cinderella (Kaitlyn Davidson) and her stepmother (Blair Ross) along with two stepsisters Gabrielle (Kimberly Faure) and Charlotte (Lulu Picart) live in a cottage in this forest.  There is a sense of nature surrounding the cottage.

In walks Cinderella, a peasant girl, collecting mushrooms in her apron.  The Prince arrives on stage and wishes he was doing something with his life.  When his parents passed away, he was told to fake it.  He was questioning his self-worth.

Cinderella receives a book from Jean-Michel (David Andino) and says “I can read what I want to read” while sitting in her own little corner chair.  She can dream to be a Queen or live in an African jungle.  “I can be wherever and whatever I want to be.”

It was announced in the town square that the Prince is giving a Ball to find a wife.  The single girls were excited because one day they could be Queen.  Cinderella dreams of going to the Ball.  In the magical world, a fairy godmother appears and promises to give into her dreams.  The godmother says she will turn a pumpkin into a golden carriage, and does.  Cinderella appears in a beautiful white gown complete with a tiara and glass slippers.  The only request was that Cinderella comes home by midnight.

At the Ball, there are 200 girls for the Prince to dance with.  In walks Cinderella.  The Prince is enamored with her and can’t keep his eyes off her.  He sings “Ten minutes ago I met you.”  They dance the waltz and quickly falls in love with her.

The stroke of midnight has arrived.  Cinderella remembers what the fairy godmother said, and runs home.  The Prince yells “Wait, I don’t even know your name.”

Then, there was a 19-minute intermission.

Act II begins with the Prince trying to find Cinderella.  He claims she is his destiny and is the one for him.  He searches the dark forest far and wide.  Cinderella arrives home in time carrying the pumpkin.  So did the Prince get his self-worth back?  Does Cinderella and the Prince meet again?

This is a tale of a rags to riches girl who never gives up on her dreams and teaches the Prince kindness, compassion and forgiveness.  The musical’s score includes songs such as:  “In my own little corner”, “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Do I love you because you’re beautiful?”

The set decorations was fantastic.  I thought the Ball gowns were colorful and elegant.  The orchestra was in the pit and is conducted by Valerie Gebert.  This musical was totaling entertaining for the young and young at heart.  There were many little girls in the audience dressed in their gowns and tiaras, from what I noticed.

Tickets for “Cinderella” range from $35-$89 (includes a facility fee) and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or at the Detroit Opera House and Fisher Theatre box offices.  The Detroit Opera House is located at 1526 Broadway.

OVERALL RATING:  A

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From left to right: Blair Ross, Kimberly Fauré, Aymee Garcia and Kaitlyn Davidson. (Photo: Carol Rosegg)

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