School musical an updated classic

Lindsay Bronston plays Cinderella and Richard Vois plays Prince Topher in Warren County High School's upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella." Rich Cooley/Daily
Levi Engel plays Lord Pinkleton in Warren County High School's production of "Cinderella." Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Students at Warren County High School have been hard at work putting together their spring performance of a well-known tale in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”

Theater teacher Chris Whitney said the Broadway musical has been on his “list” for around seven years and a new version in 2013 updated the story for the stage, since the original was written for television. He said the new script has a slightly different story from what people may remember – and is even a bit on the political side.

“A lot of Broadway musicals have really big numbers, and the original score didn’t really have a big dance number,” he said. “The story’s definitely a lot more updated for our time as well, and I think there’s some morals to be learned even for adults.”

He said one new element to the school’s production is featuring transforming trick dresses. Senior Lindsay Bronston, who plays the titular lead, said making the transformation look like magic was a big challenge.

“I’ve never had to change onstage,” she said. “It’s really scary because I didn’t know how the dress was going to work.”

Bronston said the complex harmonies in the show’s score have posed another challenge during rehearsals. She said one song in particular, “Ten Minutes Ago,” was intimidating with its four-part harmonies and dancing during the ballroom scene.

“It’s so beautiful … I listened to the song on the soundtrack and I was like, ‘This is top notch and we are not going to be able to pull this off,'” she said.

Senior Richard Vo, who plays opposite Bronston as the prince, said the song is one of his favorite parts and a classic “Cinderella” moment.

“It’s so iconic that we want to reach that expectation that everyone else has done, but at the same time make it our own,” he said.

Overall, he said a few funny moments and a complex and upbeat score complement the familiar tale.

“The harmonies and the music in every song – it’s very difficult, but it’s rewarding to do because you don’t get that in a lot of musicals,” he said.

Senior Jamie Hollands plays the stepmother in the show, her final performance after five years in the program. She said that while they’re not performed nearly as often as regular plays, musicals always make for a more involved rehearsal. She said performers can get out of practice with that skill set.

“Because we don’t do it every year … people’s voices get a little rusty, people’s dancing gets a little rusty and it’s just a matter of really working on your voice,” she said.

But with all of the magic moments in store from a large, hardworking cast and crew, Hollands said the show will be a fairytale spectacle to see.

“I’m just really excited to see kids’ faces light up,” she said.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com

IF YOU GO

“Cinderella” will be performed at Warren County High School’s auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

• Tickets are $11 for adults and $7 for students and children.

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