Best written reviews for “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” performed by Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia. Reviewed on April 23, 2022.
Oakton High School
"The Prince is giving a ball!" the Herald exclaims to the townspeople. The girls of the town excitedly bustle and chatter about who will become the Prince's wife. This scene could only lead to one story: the classic fairy tale of Cinderella, as told by Osbourn Park High School Performing Arts.
The story of Cinderella is well known, but Rodger and Hammerstein's musical has some interesting twists. The musical was originally written for TV and is more farcical and humorous than the typical fairy tale. The story revolves around Cinderella, who is forced to live as a servant to her demanding stepmother and stepsisters. Aided by her Godmother's magic, Cinderella is allowed to go to the ball, which leads to Cinderella and the Prince falling in love.
The namesake role was played by Savannah Smith, who embodied Cinderella's fanciful spirit with her graceful poise and sweet voice. In contrast, her stepsisters (Sam Ray Bitangcol and Alex Tapper), dressed in gaudy gowns (costumed by Lauren Clauss and Katia Schineller), were constantly demanding and squabbling. No matter what scene they were in, the audience would expect to laugh at their exaggerated movements and obnoxious quibbling. Another dynamic duo was the King and Queen (Shane Green and Madison Kerr). The Queen's dominating yet sympathetic behavior balanced her disorderedly and comedic husband. While the Prince was more rational than Cinderella, he also adopted a whimsical air after he danced with Cinderella in "Ten Minutes Ago". Last but not least, Lauren Clauss brought playfulness and magic to the stage as the Godmother.
Every ensemble member made strong and distinct character choices. Especially admirable was Corynn Ellsworth as Grandma, who hobbled across stage, cane shaking in her hand. The ensemble uniformly waltzed in the ballroom, accompanied by Osbourn Park Orchestra. When the ensemble transformed into waiters, they adopted a playful manner as they conga-lined offstage.
The set (by Riley Ater and Alexia Mendiola) helped bring the fairytale's magic to life. Cinderella's house featured a never-closing window, a magical cupboard, a moving chair, and a self-lighting fireplace. The splendorous blue ballroom featured royal portraits and a grand staircase, with additional stairs leading right into the audience. This allowed characters to run into the aisle, further immersing the audience into the story. The stage crew (OPHS Production Crew) quickly transitioned between the drastically different sets without disrupting the show.
Osbourn Park High School's production of Cinderella cleverly brought new life to a classic tale and encouraged everyone to believe that "impossible things are happening everyday".
Woodbridge Senior High School
Fiddledy faddledy foodle, the cast of Osbourn Park's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella casted a spell on its audience. Based off the Brothers Grimm fairytale and adapted by Rodgers and Hammerstein for a CBS made for TV movie in 1957 featuring Julie Andrews in the titular role. This reimagining of the classic tale follows Cinderella, a girl forced into servitude by her Stepmother and Stepsisters until the night of a royal ball when her Fairy Godmother transforms her rags into riches. However, the magic will only remain until the stroke of midnight. Cinderella goes to the ball and dances with Prince Christopher who falls in love with her, but true love is foiled when the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella flees in such haste, and she leaves one of her glass slippers behind.
Savannah Smith made the audience fall in love with her Cinderella. Smith's vocals enchanted and delighted the audience and kept them on the edge of their seats to see if Cinderella's happily ever after would come true. Sam Ray Bitangcol, as Joy, and Alex Tapper, as Portia, stole the show as the dynamic duo that were the Stepsisters. Their duet "Stepsisters Lament" was a highlight of the show, with both actors having showstopping voices. Along with their vocals, both brought hysterical physical comedy to their roles, which elevated their performance from good to great. From Joy struggling with her headband to Portia's dance with the prince, both were constantly engaging and brought much laughter when they took to the stage. Last but certainly not least, Lauren Clauss as the Godmother brought much magic to the iconic role. From the humor when it came to popping into scenes unexpectedly to the incredible musical number, "Impossible", the Godmother was a character that brought magic to the stage.
When it came to tech, the show's props, costumes and set design enhanced the performance. The props done by Katherine Misero elevated each scene and had a distinct purpose. Each prop felt very natural to each scene and never felt overdone. The set done by Riley Ater and Alexia Mendiola brought life to each scene. The castle set allowed for many levels and allowed the audience to take in the ball's grandeur. Finally, the costumes done by Lauren Clauss and Katia Schineller dazzled, from Cinderella's beautiful blue dress to every single ensemble member in the village, the costumes allowed the audience to know immediately who each character was. This gave each character a distinct identity and really illustrated how much care was put into this show.
Overall, it is "Impossible" not to fall in love with this production's cast and crew.