North Catholic's "Cinderella" is a modern touch on a classical story about believing in yourself.
Cinderella has a terrible life with her stepmother and two wicked stepsisters; she dreams of bigger and better things outside her small corner of the world. With her mother dying long ago and her father remarrying her stepmother and then dying himself, Cinderella was doomed to be tortured by the trio of women.
A chance meeting in town with the kingdom's prince, Christopher, sets the story in motion. His parents are tired of seeing him alone, so they arrange a ball with all of the eligible women in the kingdom as guests. With her stepmother anticipating that there is no possibility of the prince rejecting her daughters, Cinderella is harshly excluded from the ball.
Once they leave, she falls into despair, and her Fairy Godmother appears and helps her get to the ball with a little magic, reviving the inner belief in herself that she had forgotten about. After a terrible evening with the other women, Christopher meets Cinderella and the two become inseparable, but the magic wears off at midnight, so she flees the castle. Christopher mounts a search for her and eventually does find her using the glass slipper, which only fits Cinderella's foot. The two end the play happily together again.
The bullying that Cinderella takes is obvious -- they were jealous of her. Cinderella has everything that the stepmother and the sisters do not -- beauty, character, and personality. Their lust for what she has and the realization that they will never have it is too much for them to handle, so they spend every opportunity picking on her. They feel so insecure about themselves that they feel the need to destroy Cinderella's relationship with the Prince by lying about her existence.
The rocky beginning to the relationship of Cinderella and the Prince is an example of inferiority between the rich and not so rich. Cinderella feels she would never have a chance with someone in Christopher's position, and Christopher feels that no girl in the land would ever feel comfortable with someone like him.
In the end, it is Cinderella's courage that allows her to overpower her sisters and stepmother and find the Prince, which proves that the Fairy Godmother was right from the beginning -- believe and anything is possible, even when faced with seemingly impossible odds.
Not one musical is the same as the next. While some schools have more to work with than others, it was a different story here. The performance was my first in a gym, so that already made it a different but enjoyable experience. When the sound experienced a few technical difficulties, the performers were incredible. Especially the two leads, who helped their classmates to cascade the performance into something truly memorable, as they sounded wonderful together.
The orchestra was behind the stage, which is also something I have never seen before, but it was thrilling to see some difference from the theatrical norm. North Catholic should be proud because they put on a truly unique musical that was entertaining to watch from minute one.
"Cinderella" ran April 26-28.
The Kelly Critics is a joint program of the Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh CLO's Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musicals, in which students at Kelly schools review musicals at other Kelly schools. Reviews are edited by senior theater critic Christopher Rawson.