LCT’s ‘Cinderella’ offers musical delights

For this year’s holiday musical, Lawrence Community Theatre presents Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”

This well-read fairy tale tells the turbulent story of Cinderella, an orphan left to live with her cruel stepmother and two nasty stepsisters. Treated as a lowly servant, Cinderella dreams of going to the royal ball and falling in love with the gallant prince.

Many people are probably familiar with this musical version, which was originally written for a CBS television special in 1957. Since then it has been re-done twice, the most recent of which was Disney’s production, aired in 1997.

The theatrical adaptation blends an effervescent musical score and colorful costumes to create a light-hearted story that children will really enjoy.

Kayla Motley stars as the demure Cinderella. The model ingénue, she glides seamlessly across the stage, and gives lovely performances of “In My Own Little Corner” and “The Sweetest Sounds.”

Melia Stockham and Amber Dickinson are wonderful as the inept and self-centered stepsisters, Grace and Joy. The pair livens up the stage with their klutzy antics and hilarious repartee, often while doing the bidding of Cinderella’s ruthless and crazy stepmother, played by Becky O’Keefe.

Cinderella’s fairy godmother (Rachel Strandt), guides the story with sparkle and grace. Yet she also brings a touch of reality to the story, teaching Cinderella that she must act to make her wishes come true with the song “It’s Possible.”

Cinderella’s one-and-only love, Prince Christopher, is played by Michael Timothy Dieker. His dreamy and naïve character are ideal for this type of story, and he helps create several touching moments between he and Motley.

A dedicated group of LCT veterans makes up the strong supporting cast. Charles Whitman always brings a stoic, dry humor to his roles, this time as Lionel, the Prince’s Steward. Lori Messinger and Dean Bevan are charming as the Queen and King, with a strong performance of “Boys and Girls Like You and Me,” which only accentuates their lovely stage presence.

One of the cutest parts of the production is Cinderella’s little mice allies, played by Alex Brown, Andrew Leibold, Kate O’Keefe and Helen Weis. It’s great to see these talented youngsters adding their own colorful flair to the show, along with Sam Hay and Alice Myers, as the dove and the cat.

Children will enjoy the animated tone of the show, the colorful costumes and the vibrant sets. This fun story moves at a comfortable pace, keeping younger audience members engaged in the performance from start to finish. The theater even makes special magic wands available so that audience members can help stir the magic for Cinderella and her prince.

Director Charles Goolsby creates a show that children young and old can easily enjoy, sparking a magical beginning to the holiday season.