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A magical evening at Popejoy Hall: Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

The story of Cinderella is a childhood memory for both my daughter and myself. The idea that a simple girl can find happiness with someone special while still being herself is a powerful message. We got to live the magical story last night at Popejoy Hall seeing the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical live on stage. I just couldn't stop smiling the moment I walked into the theater. The stage was transformed into an enchanted forest where we meet Ella and her friends, Crazy Marie, the nutty local citizen and Jean-Michel, the overzealous activist standing up for the citizens of the kingdom. Tatyana Lubov was a wonder as Ella - simply-played with an angelic singing voice. Leslie Jackson as Marie - what can I say? They couldn't have been more of a perfect actress for this role.

The Prince was, well, princely, taking on the masculine side while still being sensitive to becoming the man he wants to be for himself and his kingdom. Sebastian, played by Christopher Swan was a hoot. Even though you saw him as a bad guy, he still experienced funny moments. Sara Smith as the Madame/Stepmother played evil well. I found myself wanting to yell at the stage, "Leave Cinderella alone!" A sure sign that she played her part to a tee. The big standout of the show had to be Joanna Johnson as Charlotte, the evil step-sister looking for love for all the wrong reasons. Her performance of Stepsister's Lament was hilarious and powerful, expressing what a lot of women feel when it comes to finding the right man and not having him realize all you have to offer.

Kudos to the set designer, Anna Louizos, and choreographer, Josh Rhodes. The flow of the show was flawless, changing from scene to scene with such ease. The dance numbers were breathtaking, a prime example that dance doesn't have to be excessive or over-exaggerated to be powerful on stage. But the moments that made my jaw drop go to the quick costume changes. I have no idea how they do it, but it was the times in the show that made it magical and full of whimsy.

Nevertheless, if you don't leave this musical feeling full of wonder and joy, you're as cold as the stepmother. Don't be the stepmother! Get your tickets now for this show. You will not be disappointed.

You have four more chances to catch this enchanting musical at Popejoy Hall. Visit to purchase your tickets.

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