Running to Places Theatre Company finished their 2011 season at Ithaca’s State Theatre with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in late August to the delight of adults and children, many of whom came dressed in costume for the event and greeted the characters after the shows.
The starring roles went to Engy Hassan as Cinderella and Matt Avery as Prince Christopher. Both these young performers have strong beautiful voices and added grace and magic to the stage. Whether in quiet moments alone in the stepmother’s house as in “In My Own Little Corner” or in duets like “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful”, both Engy and Matt gave wonderful performances. Todd Petersen’s choreography, as always, had these two floating across the ballroom floor as enchanted lovers should.
Extremely strong supporting performances were brought to life in the characters of the stepsisters, Grace and Joy, played with such humor and delight by Haley Evanoski and Natalia Rathburn, and guided by their mother, played by Allison Mollenkamp. The girls you love to hate were great fun in their disgusting habits and hilarious costumes. Kudos to Michelle Roy for great costume design. Grace and Joy won my heart with their great duet, “Stepsister’s Lament”. Fabulous, girls!
Another marvelous performance came from Jewell Payne as the Fairy God Mother. Her powerful voice and elegant stage presence gave wonderful life to the character. Lisa Podulka also gave great supporting performances as Leona the Steward, with strong expression and energy and showing her talents both singing and dancing. Rebecca Woods and Felix Fernandez-Perry played the roles of the King and Queen with delightful duets and good humor.
Tyler Perry designed beautiful sets, simple and effective, to bring us into the story book production complimented by lighting by Max Doolittle and the pit orchestra led by Richard Montgomery brought the story alive with great music.
A wonderful family production and great finish to an amazing season. Hats off to all the cast and supporting crew, to Gail and Joey and everyone who works so hard to support this great local company of performers. Our community appreciates you and are lucky to have you all. Now, onto next season, bound to be even better if that’s possible. Congratulations Running To Places on a great season!
All images are Copyright © George Cannon. Images from this show and all Running To Places season shows are available for purchase at http://imageguy.zenfolio.com with a portion of the sales going back to support Running To Places. Order your favorites today.