Arts and Entertainment

‘Cinderella’ delights with costumes, music at Whidbey Playhouse

Imaginative costumes are one of the main attractions of the Whidbey Playhouse production of ‘Cinderella.” From the left are Dar Camacho, Katie Hudak and Cassie Dewees. - photo by Mary Lou Chandler
Imaginative costumes are one of the main attractions of the Whidbey Playhouse production of ‘Cinderella.” From the left are Dar Camacho, Katie Hudak and Cassie Dewees.
— image credit: photo by Mary Lou Chandler

By Mary Lou Chandler

Special to the News-Times

It is true that everything starts with a wish, but it is what you do with that wish that counts. said the Fairy Godmother to Cinderella.

Creating a fantasy world with a cast and crew to bring this fairy tale to life has been an exhilarating experience filled with fun, triumphs and surprises, said Allenda Jenkins, director. Her journey started with a brainstorming session about the set, the costumes and how the production was going to go. At first it was planned to be an all-adult show, as written, but then evolved into an all-family show, with age ranges from 6 to 63. The music is presented by a seven-piece orchestra, directed by Jamar Jenkins, husband of the director.

This childhood fairy tale has been brought to life in an unusual way on the stage at The Whidbey Playhouse. A team of costume visionaries led by K. Sandra O’Brien and Julia Locke turned a normal costume fitting into an innovative session of creating paper dolls. The costumes are colorful, and steal the show!

The Fairy Godmother played by Playhouse veteran Caitlin Lewis puts a new spin on what Godmothers, especially the fairy variety, should look like. When she makes her appearance and a skeptical Cinderella (played by Candice Baker) wants to know who she is, Godmother says, “So you gonna make something out of it? You were expecting a tutu and a magic wand?” The red spike heels and the rose colored sunglasses are just the beginning of a delightful foray into innovative costuming. Cinderella and her prince are fully costumed in the traditional style costumes, making this show a fun mixture of sights and sounds to capture your imagination.

The tale begins as Cinderella embarks on her journey of self-awareness, a young girl forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother (Dara Camacho) and self-centered step sisters (Katie Hudak and Cassie Dewees). With the encouragement of her Fairy Godmother, and new found confidence, Cinderella discovers that “it’s possible” for her wishes to come true because impossible things are happening every day.

Fairy Godmother with the help of her magic, transforms Cinderella and her pets, into a princess, a golden carriage and four white horses. The story then turns to the castle where she meets the Prince (Scott Arnold) and his parents the King and Queen (played by husband and wife Troy Haugen and Shantel Porter). The Grand Ball commences and Cinderella falls in love with the prince and has to leave as the clock strikes midnight, and she transforms back into the servant girl, leaving her glass slipper behind.

The story ends with the prince searching for and finding his bride, and they all live happily ever after.

Other members of the ensemble include Nicholas Whatley, Megan Lemay, Ayanna Fuentes, Emily Hughes, Paige Jackson, Renee Ross, Zoe Lowther, Simone Andrade, Elyse Brown, Soureya Hetzel, Tiffany Patrick, Mary K Hallen and Allen Young.

The Whidbey Playhouse’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is a true collaborative effort done in the spirit of teamwork. Join this story book land where once upon a time in a kingdom far away, fireplaces can dance, animals can sing and characters look as if they have popped out of the pages of a child’s storybook. Just like Cinderella, we can all make our wishes come true, just like Allenda Jenkins wanted!

When you can see the show

Cinderella made its debut Friday night. It continues Saturday, June 5, through Sunday, June 27. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m., with Wednesday performances added on June 16 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Whidbey Playhouse office, 730 SE Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor, or by calling 679-2237. All seating is reserved and all tickets are $16 each seat. Youth ages two and older are invited to attend but must have a purchased seat.

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