Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

November 14, 2011


Opera House Players, Broadbrook, CT
through November 27, 2011
by Walter Haggerty

There's magic in the air in Broad Brook as the Opera House Players present Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" with an outstanding company. This treatment of the beloved fairy tale was conceived by R&H in 1957 as a special project for live television and served to introduce Julie Andrews to an audience of 107 million viewers in its single performance.

Broad Brook Players' production may not reach as large an audience, but it is no less enchanting. For adults and children in the area, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. The music is top drawer R&H with "Impossible," "Ten Minutes Ago I Met You," and "A Lovely Night" among the standouts. In addition to providing the lyrics, Hammerstein also wrote the book with a light and humorous touch.

Impressive performances are contributed by many cast members, most notably Caitlen Fahey, making her Broad Brook debut, in the title role. With seven numbers, she carries the heaviest musical burden performing each song beautifully. Warmth and humor best describe Fahey's characterization which easily captivates the audience.

David Climo and Julie Martini, as the King and Queen, manage their regal roles with great humor, balanced with a special tenderness that reflects their love and concern for their son. As Prince Christopher, Andrew Small is stalwart, handsome, and charming.every inch, a prince.

The trio of Stepmother and "ugly" stepsisters, portrayed by Reya Kieppel, Khara C. Hoyer, and Megan Graul, respectively, temper their "meanness" with enough humor and out-and-out silliness to reward the audience with much laughter.

Sara Steiner is a joy through her singing and nonsensical performance as Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Not to be overlooked are the contributions of two "magical" characters, Sprite and Pixie, played by Jessica Turgeon and Christine Zdebski, who contribute greatly to keeping the production moving forward seamlessly.

The entire cast is elegantly costumed by Moonyean Field; and Debora Curyla manages to make a quartet of musicians sound like a much larger ensemble. Barbara M. Washer, in her Broad Brook directorial debut, rates highest praise for a flawless, highly entertaining production.