BWW Reviews: At 30, RLT's CINDERELLA Never Looked Better
The theater has always been home to many long-lasting traditions. One of those traditions in the Triangle is Raleigh Little Theatre's annual Christmastime production of Cinderella. The production itself, which is the Prince Street Players version with some RLT flair, rather than the more familiar Rodgers and Hammerstein version, takes place at Christmas. The story is still the same one that has been loved for generations, complete with a fancy carriage, royal ball, and quest for the owner of the iconic glass slipper.
Raleigh Little Theatre has been putting on this version of Cinderella for 30 years now. You read that right: thirty years. That's dedication and loyalty, from both the theater and the audience. There are now people who saw Cinderella as kids bringing their own children to the show. It's been around a long time for a reason: it's a fun way to share a Christmas tradition with the whole family. The show is appropriate for absolutely anybody who's ready to sit for 90 minutes, and the youngest audience members will be especially captivated, as they are included in the show in a way that simply doesn't happen in 1,500 seat theaters. Children and adults alike are invited to hiss at the wicked stepmother, sneeze along with the Sneeze Polka, try on the glass slipper for themselves, sing the traditional (at RLT, at least) We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and chat with the actors in costume after curtain call.
Many of the costumes for the production have been updated and re-done, including a Fairy Godmother costume that is unlike any Fairy Godmother you might see anywhere else. This futuristic Fairy skips the traditional frilly gown for sparkle, quirk, and some real fashion design. Her costume in and of itself would justify the price of the ticket, and it's all the more delightful that the wearer of that costume, Sarah Winter, clearly loves the look and has the bubbly personality to pull it off. Major kudos to costume designer Vicki Olson and all involved with the costumes for the show. The other costumes are great as well, include a few that are showstoppingly funny like a light-up Christmas tree dress for the evil stepmother.
Another update to the show, which wouldn't have been possible when it was first produced 30 years ago, is the addition of some cool projection elements, most notable of which is a small circular screen above the stage - the Fairy Godmother appears for some pre-show announcements, and it also serves at the infamous clock approaching midnight. The show starts by projecting a video retrospective from 30 years of Cinderella. Raleigh Little Theatre is proving that traditions can endure while still keeping up with modern audiences.
Cinderella runs through December 21. For tickets and more information, visit www.raleighlittletheatre.org.