“Review: ‘Cinderella’ Dazzles at Viewpoint Theatre”


Photo courtesy of Viewpoint.theatre on instagram

Naomi Engle, Staff writer

Viewpoint’s Upper School musical, Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”, debuted at the Carlson Family Theater last night, marking the first musical performed indoors since the pandemic.  

The Patriot attended April 22’s opening night show, and the excitement in the lobby was palpable.  Ushers handed out playbills and attendees observed the wall of cast photos just outside the house doors.  Friends and family alike eagerly waited the opening of the doors, which revealed a dimly-lit stage with the words “An Upper School Production: Cinderella” projected on the center set piece.

The performance itself was enchanting.  Roger and Hammerstein’s contemporary take on the musical added some wit and spark to the characters while still maintaining all the dreaminess of the original.  Emily Lawson (‘23) absolutely shone as Ella, with strong vocals and natural chemistry with the prince that made every song of hers magical.  Another favorite was Violet Kaltman (‘24) as Charlotte, whose comedic timing, coupled with her powerful voice, really stood out.  The cast’s wide range of vocal talent added to the uniqueness of their characters, from Lord Pinkleton’s rich bass to Prince Topher’s high tenor.  

The technical aspects of the show worked wonderfully, albeit slowly.  The set was elaborately done, with two sets of stairs as the centerpiece that could be moved and rearranged to form different, painted scenes.  The one issue was the time it took to change scenes, which created several awkward moments of silence where characters were forced to wait, moments that could’ve been alleviated by starting the scene changes earlier.  But the rest of the tech worked well, including smooth lighting and generally-balanced mic volumes.  The costume changes for both Ella and the Fairy Godmother were pulled off quite nicely, to oohs and ahs from the audience.  Though there were some technical goofs, it was to be expected from opening night, and the cast handled them with complete professionalism.

After the show, cast members were greeted with flowers and sweets at the reception, where they reflected on how opening night went.  “Of course not everything went perfectly, but that’s live theater and that is the fun of it.  Considering that was our first run through of the show without stopping, I think we did well with what we had, and the audience was engaged and supportive, which gave us energy,” commented ensemble member Laurel Eith (‘24).

The best part of the whole show, however, was the energy in the room, from performers and audience members alike.  In sharp contrast to Viewpoint’s fall play, “The Birds”, it was a larger audience indoors, and that in itself was truly wonderful.  “Cinderella” truly is a magical event that the whole family will love seeing, especially as the shows continue and the technical precision improves.

“Cinderella” will play Saturday evening and Sunday matinee at the CFT.  Tickets are available online.  It has a run time of approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes, including intermission.