As someone who’s heard the story of Cinderella over and over again, I thought I would see yet another rendition of the classic story when I went to watch “Cinderella and the Candy Kingdom” last Friday. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
When I walked into the Amphitheater, the atmosphere was fun and pleasant. There were kids, students, and adults excitedly waiting for the start of the show, and the teacher volunteers were relaxed as well.
As the show started, everyone in the audience (including myself) was impressed with the quality of the sets. Thanks to Stage Crew’s hard work, there were four rotating sets that transformed as the story continued! The props the actors used were nice as well.
Since “Cinderella and the Candy Kingdom” is a play, there was none of the music that I’ve come to expect at performances. However, since we (the audience) were looking down into a nearby “stage” (the floor of the Amphitheater), being able to see the details of the set and the facial expressions of the actors made up for it.
Speaking of, the actors genuinely cared about putting on a good show, which showed as they told the story of Cinderella (Lauren Ambe) and Prince Reese (Joe Huddle), the only people in the Candy Kingdom who didn’t like sweets.
Even though the show was geared towards children, the candy puns sprinkled throughout were super sweet. At times, it seemed the adults in the building were having more fun than anyone else!
Both acts of the show were equally excellent, but my favorite part of the show was when Cinderella was whisked away to the ball by the Tooth Fairy Godmother (Sage Segarra Garay) and the Pink, Yellow, and Purple Peeps (Kayla Mullen, Claudia Miller, and Abby Mekonnen, respectively). The Peeps’ obsession with magic was hilarious, and it set the stage (pun not intended) for the … interesting shenanigans at the ball.
Even better, in the middle of all this whimsical fun, an important lesson could be learned. As Cinderella admitted, “I guess my mind was too busy … [for me to] listen to my heart,” I realized that “Cinderella and the Candy Kingdom” was actually a call for us to believe in – and be – ourselves (… that’s my opinion, at least).
As someone who loves all things theater, “Cinderella and the Candy Kingdom” exceeded my expectations. If you couldn’t watch this show, make sure to support Children’s Theater by going to their show next year, or support Blake Stage Company by going to see “The Accused” on Mar. 18, 19, 25, 26, and 27. You won’t regret it!