The Overlook Theatre Company is gearing up for the summer's first musical at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. With the intent of bringing “Cinderella” from storybook to stage, it promises to be a regal event, with entertainment fit for a king. The cast and crew began rehearsals in mid-May and have been hard at work designing a Broadway-style production to entertain all ages.
"This is a show that can be enjoyed by everyone- young, old, male, female," said Scotty Corbin, artistic director for the Overlook Theatre Company. "There is lots of comedy, beautiful dance numbers and a classic story. This show is appropriate and can be enjoyed by every age."
As one of the most cherished fairy tales of all times, the crew has worked to bring “Cinderella” to life on stage in a musical celebration of magical hopes and dreams. The story centers on poor Cinderella as she is endlessly abused by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and not allowed to attend the Royal Ball. With the help of her Fairy Godmother and faith in a single wish, Cinderella gets the chance to meet her prince, attend the ball and wear a beautiful gown, but will she make it to happily ever after before the clock strikes midnight? The play is a full, two-act production.
With more than 100 people working on "Cinderella: A Magical Musical," both onstage and off, the Overlook Theatre Company has been working to ensure the summer's first production is one to be remembered. "Sets were designed back in the early spring and construction began at that point including a golden pumpkin carriage, complete with a driver and footman," said Corbin. "Costumes can’t begin until we get a cast and they can be made or fitted to a particular performer."
Abigail Roper, who stars as Cinderella, is excited for the opportunity to act out one of her childhood favorites.
"Everything is on a larger scale; the cast of almost 100, the set pieces, the costumes and the venue," said Roper. "It's very exciting to get to do this magical show in such a nice facility with a great director, cast and crew."
The making of the costumes began at the end of May and capture the royal elegance of the iconic fairy tale.
"This show is very magical," said Corbin. "It is the perfect fairytale to translate from a storybook to live on stage."
According to Roper, the costumes are so “spot on,” she can easily be mistaken for the real Cinderella, which she considers a compliment. "I love kids, so it is always cute when they come up to me after a show thinking that I'm the real Cinderella," she said. "I love bringing joy and magic to them; that's definitely my favorite part."
The production is complete with crowd-pleasing, upbeat tunes. "There are classic, sweeping melodies as well as some beautiful ballads," said Corbin. "This is a Broadway musical in every sense of the word."
With so many songs to choose from throughout the production, Roper had a hard time narrowing down her favorite one.
"It's hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to choose, ‘A Lovely Night’ is a fun song featuring Cinderella and her stepfamily singing about how lovely and wonderful the Prince's ball was," said Roper.
In addition to bringing the storybook to life on stage through music, the cast had their work cut out for them in learning to waltz to the music. According to Roper, not only was it a challenge to waltz, but adding the beautiful glass slippers to the performance proved to be the most challenging task for her as Cinderella.
"Having the opportunity to play Cinderella has been very exciting," said Roper. "I love everything about this show, and I know it is going to be wonderfully magical! You won't want to miss it."
“Cinderella: A Magical Musical” will be presented at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts June 27- 30 with Thursday, Friday and Saturday show times of 7:30 p.m., and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $15, and student tickets are $10.