Reviewed by Kathleen Kirby
A full house greeted the opening performance of Cinderella Thursday night at Kearsley Park’s Pavilion with many of them youngsters seated on carpets up front and nearly in the action. It was visually lovely, comically intelligent, and completely appealing to all ages.
This segment – we’ll call it the Fairy Tale segment – of Kearsley Park Players’ summer season is always a joy to attend. There’s so much to see both onstage and in the audience as little ones discover the awe of live theatre right there within striking distance of them. One little one was so struck Thursday by the appearance of Cinderella’s friends, she stood and exclaimed “MICE!”
The trumpet heralded the arrival of the horrible stepmother and her two awful daughters who turned out to be a truly hysterical trio throughout the show. These three were balanced nicely by the lovely, semi-ragged Cinderella who admitted to planting pumpkins and befriending mice when she wasn’t scrubbing and sweeping.
Then there was the Prince and his palace sidekick who appeared to be out looking for a genuine gal for the Prince to marry. Seems that his mother the Queen was pushing for him to connect with the common folk, hence the Ball to which the town was invited. Of course Cinderella was ordered to stay home.
Sulking on the steps surrounded by her furry friends, she was visited by the glorious Fairy Godmother dressed in voluminous layers of frothy white. She commanded the mice to produce the gown they’d been working on and switch it with Cindy’s rags. Cinderella was dressed right on stage – a clever feat – and, with glass slippers in hand – whisked away to the Ball.
Well, everyone knows how that event turned out, but seeing it was loads of fun as the Prince was set upon by the step sisters and scolded for lack of graciousness by his mom. When the ball was over, the step sisters and step mother decided to go home and “be mean to Cinderella”. With that in mind, Cinderella’s wedding wish came as a lovely surprise.
Kudos to director Kay Kelly and everyone involved with bringing this venerable tale to life complete with enough color and kookiness for all to enjoy. Grab the kids and a lawn chair or blanket, and get out to see one of these free performances before the magic disappears.
Cinderella continues in county parks and at various events through the weekend. Here are the schedule highlights :
Fri. July 13 – 7:00 pm – Linden, Clover Beach
Sat. July 14 – 1:00 and 3:00 pm – Applewood Estate, Flint
Sat. July 14 – 7:00 pm – Flushing County Park
Sun, July 15 – 2:00 pm – Flint Children’s Museum