A Magical Musical: Winter Musical Review

Dima Aboukasm, Social Media Editor

Surely it takes magic to transform a pumpkin into a carriage or tattered rags into a beautiful ball gown, and that is exactly what happened on MacDuffie’s stage on March 1, 2, and 3. The MacDuffie winter musical, Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, was truly a magical experience for the audience, from the colorful costumes and elaborate set to the coordinated dances, catchy songs, and inspirational themes.

The play followed Rodger and Hammerstein’s Broadway rendition of the classic Cinderella plot. A young girl named Cinderella ( played by senior Olivia Ramirez), who lives with her evil stepmother (senior Ariel Pu) and stepsisters (eighth grader Vivian O’Connor and seventh grader Brooklynn Moore), dreams of having a much better life for herself.

With the help of her fairy godmother (junior Rose Nguyen), she gets the chance to meet Prince Topher (senior Craig Judicki) at a ball, and it is love at first sight. After a few difficult tests and trials, the Prince and Cinderella are able to finally get married and of course, they live happily ever after. However, the musical was so much 

The full cast of Cinderella on stage. Photo by Peter Pham

more than just a love story.

One of the most important messages of the play was perseverance and standing up for what you believe in. From the very first scene of the musical, a revolutionary named Jean Michelle (eighth grader Nathan Stevenson) was shouting out at the kingdom gates, demanding that the land’s people get fair treatment, as they were losing their property and their voices were not being heard.

Throughout the entire musical, Jean Michelle is insistent with his fighting for his rights and at the very end, he is successful in his long fought battle; he is appointed the minister of justice of the kingdom. This showed audience members that anything is possible if you have the will to work hard and fight for what you believe in.

“The character of Jean Michelle brings optimism and the desire to make the world better to the story line,” said Director of Cinderella, Ted Lyman.

Another important theme in the musical was that anything truly is possible. Through Crazy Marie, the town’s “nutty old lady” transforming into the fairy godmother and Cinderella’s change from a “country bumpkin” to the queen of the land, audience members were inspired and moved to truly believe that what may seem impossible is often very much so the opposite.

“I think it [the musical] has a very meaningful message to the audience that something that seems impossible at first, if you work hard and if you really wish to do it, can become possible,” Nguyen said.

Viewers of the musical also got to witness some amazing stage effects. One of the biggest effects was was when Crazy Marie transformed into the fairy godmother; it happened within seconds and the audience had no idea how it happened. Crazy Marie simply spun around, some fog blurred the scene for an instant, and then suddenly, a whole new character appeared- the Fairy Godmother! This truly was impressive to witness, especially as before the musical, I was wondering how some of the magical transformation scenes of the play would be staged.

Another magical transformation was when Cinderella’s tattered and ripped up dress became a brand new ball gown. I am not quite sure how this happened as it was staged quite seamlessly, but from what the audience could tell, the fairy godmother waved her magic wand and a brand new dress appeared!

“The transformation dresses were a bit of theater magic… Some Velcro a few snaps, and gravity created the magic,” Lyman said.

Some other points to note about the musical were the costumes, music, and dance numbers. The costumes were colorful and bright and the musical numbers were lively, coordinated, and entertaining, adding quite a bit to the musical and drawing the audience even more into the story being told.

What is especially impressive is that all of this was possible, despite MacDuffie’s lacking of a real auditorium or stage.

This was a very complex show to stage in a theater with no wings and very limited backstage space,” said Lyman.

According to Lyman, the set pieces had to be specially designed and fit into each scene so that they did not have to be removed between acts. In addition, the upstage wall had to be fabricated out of a material called scrim which would give the effect of a solid wall to the audience, but would allow for the sound from the orchestra to reach the audience.

Overall, through the important themes, the lively numbers, and the magical transformations, the musical and all the hard work that went into its production was quite a success that definitely delivered some magic to the hearts of its viewers.