By Heidi Sutton
Theatre Three closes its 2022-2023 children’s theater season with a most fitting choice, an original musical retelling of the timeless fairytale Cinderella.
With book by Douglas Quattrock with Jeffrey Sanzel and music and lyrics by Quattrock, the rags-to-riches story combines Charles Perrault’s classic story with Mark Twain’s The Prince & the Pauper with lots of hilarious twists and turns along the way.
Charles Perrault (Steven Uihlein) serves as narrator as well as “squire to the sire” and transports audiences to the palace of King Charming (Jason Furnari) who wishes for his son Prince Charming (Sean Amato) to get married and take over the kingdom so he can retire. He decides to host a royal ball and invites all eligible maidens.
The squire delivers the invitations to the home of Cinderella (Danielle Pafundi) who is forced to cook and clean for her stepmother Lady Jaclyn (Louisa Bikowski) and stepsisters Gwendolyn (Kaitlyn Jehle) and Madeline (Samantha Fierro) and be at their beck and call. When Cinderella asks if she can go to the ball, her stepmother tells her she has to do all her chores first, including washing the cat (do they even have a cat?), but we all know how that turns out.
Left behind while the meanies go to the ball, Cinderella is visited by her fairy godmother (“I don’t mean to be rude but where have you been?!”), Angelica (Heather Van Velsor), who uses her magic to whip up a beautiful dress and carriage and sends Cinderella on her way.
Meanwhile, the prince hatches a plan to switch places with the squire in hopes of meeting a girl who “really likes me for me.” Things go haywire at the ball, thanks to the spoiled stepsisters, and it ends before Cinderella can get there. When she finally arrives, Cinderella is greeted by a squire (the prince) who asks her to dance because “the band is paid till 1 a.m.” Will she accept his invitation and waltz the night away? Will they live happily ever after?
Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the lively show is perfectly executed with a clever script and all of the wonderful scenes we have come to love overflowing with singing, dancing and lots of magic.
Each actor has his/her chance to shine with solos and duets. Accompanied on piano by Douglas J. Quattrock with choreography by Sari Feldman, the songs are sweet and endearing theawith special mention to “Hey There, Charming,” “Please, Mother, Please!” and “If the Shoe Fits,” “A Girl Like Me (and a Boy Like You)” and “Here in Your Arms.”
The costumes, designed by the uber-talented Jason Allyn, are exquisite, especially Cinderella’s dress which received gasps from the audience when it was first seen, and the lighting and special effects are simply magical.
If you’re looking for something to do with the kids this weekend, Theatre Three’s Cinderella fits the “shoe” perfectly. Costumes are encouraged. Meet the cast in the lobby after the show for a keepsake photo.
Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents Cinderella through June 17 with a sensory sensitive performance on June 4 at 11 a.m. All seats are $10. For more information or to order, call the box office at 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.