Cinderella Play Delights Children, Parents Alike
Published: Friday, March 20, 2009
Updated: Friday, March 20, 2009 20:03
The New Jersey Theater Alliance presented its 2009 "Family Week at the Theatre" with an extraordinary musical of song, dance and much humor called "Happily Ever After…A Cinderella Tale."
Performed by the Pushcart Players, this Cinderella musical, written and directed by Ruth Fost, was performed at William Paterson University's Shea Auditorium on March 7. The Pushcart Players, a group of actors who set their own stage props and settings while they act out their scenes, have been performing for young audiences for 35 years.
They are an award winning professional theatre and arts-in-education company for young audiences, as stated on their Web site, www.pushcartplayers.org. They have created and performed numerous other plays for children and adults throughout the years, and recently added the Cinderella musical to their collection.
"We have been performing for many years now for other plays, but this play is brand new," said Robyn Corujo, Pushcart Player actress. "This play is just a few weeks old."
For the Cinderella musical, it consisted of only four actors playing multiple roles to fill in the necessary parts. Each actor performed their part in the play while helping each other set up for the next scene or to change into their next costume.
As the auditorium lights dimmed, Pushcart actor Daniel Stanton began with a narration of the Cinderella story. Robin Lee Gallo, who played the role of Cinderella, gave an extraordinary performance, expressing her character's kind and gentle personality. The role of Cinderella's stepsister Grizelda, played by Robyn Corujo, and the role of Cinderella's stepmother, played by Tricia Burr, were greatly performed, expressingcruelty towards Cinderella with much humor. Burr also played the role of the magical fairy godmother. Stanton, playing all the male roles, gave an excellent performance of the Prince and the prince's announcer, Maxwell.
"The show was great for the whole family to watch," said Harumi Kanashiro, WPU alumna. "It's a great experience for a younger audience to watch shows on stage."
The audiences, the majority of which were young children with their parents, were eager to see the play, as each child creatively decorated their crowns that were given to them during the pre-show activities. The children were also given different cartoon images of Cinderella to color in. Several Cinderella fans around the ages of 2-4 were dressed in their Cinderella dresses, glass slippers and little tiaras. Wearing their personally decorated crowns, the children watched the play with joy and amazement.
After the show, an autograph session was held to meet the cast; children were shaking the actors' hands while parents took their pictures with the actors. The actors, with much enthusiasm, enjoyed meeting the children face-to-face, as much as they enjoyed performing for them.
The Pushcart Players are also performing many other plays in different locations. You may visit their website at www.pushcartplayers.org for other shows and their schedules for the month of March and April. WPU's Family Week series continues with American Family Theater presenting the play "The Wizard of Oz," March 15 and Connecticut Children's Theater presenting the play "Mother Nature's Quest," April 26.