Many children growing up are given the opportunity to enjoy fairy tales and funny stories. One very popular show was always CINDERELLA. The story of the girl who lived in cinders with a mean stepmother and two stepsisters is the quindecennial story of rags to riches...from sad to happy...from hate to love! Rogers and Hammerstein created some wonderful music surrounding this story and it has been enjoyed by many generations.

When ROGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA recently made a brief visit to San Antonio, Texas, many were enthralled with the story, the costumes, the staging, the music and the characters. In watching this particular production, we first are taken by the scenery that depicts a beautiful forest. Comments from the audience members chatting before the show started included a little girl about eight years old asking her mother how they got the trees to grow on the stage (kudos to set designer Anna Louizos for such authentic scenery design). The same little girl followed up her first question by asking how they were going to get the castle on the stage later when Cinderella went to the ball. It was easy to see that the audience was very impressed and looking forward to this production of CINDERELLA.

The audience was not disappointed either. The part of Ella was played by actress Tatyana Lubov. A petite, beautiful young lady who proved very quickly that she had the talent to pull off the role. From her opening song, "In My Own Little Corner," Lubov owned the part and easily gained the respect of the audience present. She sang that song as well as such songs as "Fol-De-Rol" and "It's Possible" making her an audience favorite.

The role of Prince Topher was played by Louis Griffin and he proved quickly that he was up for the challenge. When he sang "Me, Who Am I?" with other members of the ensemble, his voice showed strength and power. The role of the Prince was meant to show that an innocent prince can sometimes be fooled but as Griffin sang the parts so well, he also showed off his acting skills as the comedic turned serious prince in keeping the audience riveted to what would happen next.

Other standouts the audience enjoyed were the parts of Lord Pinkleton played by Vincent Davis, the part of stepsister Charlotte played by Joanna Johnson and stepsister Gabrielle played by Nicole Zelka. Each proved they were talented and versatile in taking on their roles. And speaking of the audience, there were many, many children in the audience who were memorized by this beautiful production and they never seemed to want to let the evening end.

If you have a chance to see ROGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA, take the time. It played in San Antonio for three days at the Majestic Theatre.

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From This Author Kathy Strain

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