Theatre under the Stars
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Dates and Venue July 4 - August 18, 2018 Show 8pm, Lobby opens: 7pm; odd-numbered days in July, even-numbered days in August | Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park

Director Sarah Rodgers Choreographer Nicol Spinola Music Director Brent Hughes Set Designer Brian Ball Costume Designer Christina Sinosich Lighting Designer Gerald King Sound Designer Bradley Danyluk Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima

Reviewer Darren Cordeiro

The stage was set in the heart of Stanley Park for an energy infused evening, complete with families and friends eagerly awaiting the start of the timeless classic, Cinderella. Encapsulated by the mountains and warmed by the sun, outdoors theatre definitely had a nice feel to it.

The plot rang true to the Disney version of Cinderella which maintained that certain level of nostalgia for the audience while offering a few well planned deviations to heighten the enticement for what the next scene would bring. The common themes of social class disparities, kindness and inner beauty were integrated throughout the performance, serving as a gentle and timely reminder for the audience of all generations.

The acting was impressive, especially given the youthfully aged cast including a few infants. The playful and colourful tone kept the performance upbeat throughout the scenes. Observing the audience, they were engaged from the opening scene until the end.

Choreography plays an integral element within any musical and it was well executed by the cast. The synchronized dance numbers performed by those half my age provides motivation to sign-up for a class to improve my own steps!

The set design and costumes were thoughtfully planned which is important in an outdoor theatre performance where the stage real estate is limited. Certain cast members’ costumes mirrored the Disney version while others uniquely deviated which kept the production fresh. The costume designer did an effective job of portraying the animals within the plot, i.e., horses and mice, through the cast’s choice of outfits and make-up.

The stage had various set changes which kept the performance interesting and I especially enjoyed the beautiful illuminated clock with the hands that moved towards the famous stroke of midnight. With limited real estate and quick set changes, the transitions from one scene to the next were seamless by using the cast to all be involved.

The music was perfectly timed and complemented the performance nicely – not too overbearing against the acting. The semi-exposed pit allowed the audience to see the conductor, creating that true feeling that we were at the theatre. As I wasn’t as familiar with the songs from Cinderella compared to other musicals such as the Lion King, I was pleased with the certain familiar cadence run through the melodies.

I highly recommend that you check out this performance. With the strong acting from a diverse cast, this production demonstrates that the glass slipper truly fits all.

© 2018 Darren Cordeiro