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Fairy tale finish

Drama club brings Cinderella to stage

Does it fit? Nathan Larkins' Prince Christopher tries the glass slipper on Cinderella, played by Taylor Smith, while stepsisters Sarah Milano and Kendall Kotcher and stepmother Stephanie Burnham watch in shock. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
February 02, 2011 - The classic tale of a lost glass slipper, a scullery maid and a prince is being brought to life by the Clarkston High School Drama Club in their rendition of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella.

Taylor Smith, playing Cinderella, is left working in the house for her stepmother, played by Stephanie Burnham, and two stepsisters, played by Kendall Kotcher and Sarah Milano, after the death of both parents.

"I wish I could go to the ball," said Smith. "I wish I could be a part of something like that."

While Cinderella is in her world dreaming and imagining a life out of the house, Prince Christopher, played by Nathan Larkins, is also wishing for another life.

"I go into the town square because I hate the palace and I want to be more like a normal person because everything has been laid out for me," he said. "I am always wondering what else is out ther for me. I don't want to be locked up in castle all my life. I want to meet someone."

Another frustration for Christopher is his parents the King and Queen, played by Mike Arkwright and Maggie Schroeder, want to him to get married but want to arrange the marriage.

"I want to take my own time and fall in love with the girl of my dreams," said Larkins.

Through a little bit of magic and help from fairy godmother, played by Mason Van Gieson, Cinderella and Christopher meet.

But a dilemma arises when Cinderella leaves the ball unexpectedly at midnight and the only thing left behind is her glass slipper - leaving the prince to find his true love again.

The plot only scratches the surface to the enjoyable performance.

"The story is a lot more in depth," said Larkins.

"It is upbeat even though it is not a cartoon," said Kotcher. "You know all the people and it is still a lot of fun and has a lot of energy."

"The characters are more like real people than they are in the Walt Disney animated version," said Van Geison. "Every character is more complex."

She added the tale was modernized and her character encourages Cinderella to believe in herself before the fairy godmother will give Cinderella what she wants.

"It is telling kids you can fight for what you believe in," said Van Geison.

Being the Rodgers & Hammerstein's version includes lots of songs.

"The music stands out," added Smith. "One of my favorite parts is 'My Own Little Corner.' It is fun to act out and play with the mice onstage. The kids will especially like it because it is so animated."

Smith explained the play is the Enchanted version.

"A few songs were added and the script was rewritten from the original version with Julie Andrews to enchance the scene interpretation," said Larkins.

From the outfits to the setting the timeless tale is estically pleasing, said Schroeder.

"The set is amazing," said Tabitha Mullen, publicity chair for the show. "The pumpkin has to turn into a carriage and they made it look amazing. The crew worked at this all year long."

"The costumes are amazing," added Kotcher.

Performances are Feb. 17-19, 7:30 p.m.at the high school's Performing Arts Center. Matinee show is Feb. 19, 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students and senior citizens, $10 for adults, free for children grade 5 and younger with adult. Tickets are on sale at the CHS box office, from 10:15 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday, or reserve tickets by calling 248-623-4024.

"The show makes you believe in fairy tales," said Smith. "It's not just for younger people but older people. People will enjoy it because they know it will have a happy ending."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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