Adrian’s Croswell stages Disney’s ‘Cinderella KIDS’Written by Renee Lapham Collins | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tea parties and princesses will be in the spotlight when Adrian’s Croswell Opera House stages Disney’s “Cinderella KIDS”
Set for Feb. 8-10 and Feb. 16-17, the program includes a bonus tea party luncheon prior to the Saturday matinees on Feb. 9 and Feb. 16.
“The tea party luncheon is $15 per person and includes an opportunity to meet, mingle and get a photo taken with a Disney princess and to do a make-and-take princess art project,” said Jere Righter, artistic director for the Croswell.
Tickets for the tea party are limited and should be purchased in advance by calling (517) 264-7469.
The play tells the timeless fairy tale of Cinderella, mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and denied the chance to attend the royal ball. With the help of a fairy godmother, Cinderella attends the ball where she meets her handsome prince and falls in love.
John MacNaughton, creative director for the Croswell, is directing the show.
“Part of the Croswell’s mission is to educate, so doing shows involving children is a natural,” he said. “Providing this opportunity is important to children.”
MacNaughton said he encouraged the children performing in the show to share their ideas and many of those ideas are being used in the production.
“The pride they take in knowing they came up with a good idea is visible,” he said.
The show’s tea party has been a popular feature in the past with parents and grandparents.
“The Croswell has done princess tea parties in the past and parents and grandparents seem to love having this experience with their little girls,” he said. “They come in princess gowns, the whole nine yards.”
Nearly 100 people auditioned for the show, about 80 of them younger than 12. There are 40 in the cast, MacNaughton said.
“One of the challenges is to make sure the children are meaningfully involved in the story and this group is,” he said. “They provide a lot of the comic relief and are in substantial roles, helping to tell the story.”
“Even though this is a fairly simple story, I thought the roles of the stepmother and stepsisters were too demanding for a younger person to handle,” MacNaughton said. “The three actors I cast — Joyce Lancaster, Kayla Henry and Sarah Garofalo — are hilarious.”
MacNaughton said the show is filled with comic elements, which he found surprising. There are several performers new to MacNaughton who have brought “wonderful comic talent to the show,” he said.
“Noah Beasley as the Town Herald is about 10 and I predict we’ll see him for many years to come,” MacNaughton said. “Another surprise came with Anthony Isom. He’s in his early 20s and has never been in a show and his wacky sense of comedy is a joy to watch. Another new performer for me is Sarah Garofalo, who understands the wicked stepsister Anastasia in the funniest way.”
Music director for the show is Peggy Snead. Ashley Nowak is choreographing the show, while Leo Babcock is the scenic designer. Tiff Crutchfield is lighting designer, Tyler Miller is sound designer and costumes were designed by Emily Gifford. Beth Hale rounds out the backstage crew as the production stage manager.
“Kids’ shows talk to the kid in me,” MacNaughton said. “I love a good pratfall and silly jokes. And coming up with the sets and costumes is always fun, too — lots of color and glitter is usually involved.”
Curtain times for Disney’s “Cinderella, Kids” are Friday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 and Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10 and 17 at 1:30 p.m. An additional evening performance on Feb. 16 will be staged at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors 60 and older, and $5 for children 10 and younger, and are available by calling (517) 264-SHOW (7469) or online at Croswell.org. Tickets also are available at the door at the Croswell box office, 129 E. Maumee St. in downtown Adrian.
MacNaughton said he never pictured himself as someone who would enjoy doing children’s theater, but he’s discovered he does.
“I absolutely love the enthusiasm kids bring to rehearsals,” he said. “Doing shows designed for a young audience gives me license to be absolutely ridiculous, which is fun.
“This cast of kids seems especially attuned to theater. The choreographer mentioned how quickly they learn choreography and the music director is astounded at the sound the mice chorus makes.
“We’re building the next generation of theater professionals with our children’s shows.”
Cinderella is played by Mallory Erwin, who is a newcomer to the Croswell. A high school student at Hillsdale Academy who lives in Adrian, Erwin “possesses a wonderful sincerity and grounded quality that separates her from her mean and cruel step family,” MacNaughton said. The stepmother, played by Joyce Lancaster, and the stepsisters, played by Kayla Henry and Sarah Garofalo, are adult roles. Michelle Force plays the Fairy Godmother, Matthew Pettrey is Prince Charming, Rob Pettrey is the king and Melanie O. Maneesha is the queen. Other cast members include: Madelena Arriaga, Rachel Bauer, Noah Beasley, Caleb Becerra, Allison Beougher, Brock Boze, Cole Carrico, Rio Doyle, Carly Edinger, Ella Edinger, Audrey Force, Brenya Glisson, Kyle Haeussler, Emma Hammond, Rebekah Hays, A.J. Howard, Anthony Isom, Alexandra June, Emily Kilpatrick, Gabby Kisor, Isabelle Kisor, Arielle Osstifin, Payton Perry-Radcliffe, Ethan Pettrey, Carson Pickles, Leah Reasoner, Arielle Richardson, Julianne Schoonover, Hannah Shindler and Javyn Skeels.
Tags: A.J. Howard, Adrian, Alexandra June, Allison Beougher, Anthony Isom, Arielle Osstifin, Arielle Richardson, Audrey Force, Brenya Glisson, Brock Boze, Caleb Becerra, Carly Edinger, Carson Pickles, Cinderella, Cole Carrico, Croswell Opera House, Disney, Ella Edinger, Emily Kilpatrick, Emma Hammond, Ethan Pettrey, Gabby Kisor, Hannah Shindler, Hillsdale Academy, Isabelle Kisor, John MacNaughton, Julianne Schoonover, Kyle Haeussler, Leah Reasoner, Madelena Arriaga, Mallory Erwin, Noah Beasley, Payton Perry-Radcliffe, Rachel Bauer, Rebekah Hays, Rio Doyle