December 2, 2023

The Wallace Theatre is premiering an all-new production of the Broadway adaptation of “Cinderella.” This production will once again bring the grandness of last year’s “Beauty and the Beast” performance, since it is a fairytale filled with beautiful costumes, set design and magic. This rendition will be based on the Broadway revival with new songs and twists on the classic tale.

Camille Grochowski | CBU Banner Brooklyn Savage, freshman nursing major, sings “’Stepsister’s Lament’” with the other female ensemble members.

The mixture of contemporary and timeless elements based on characters, scenes and music will be presented through the lens of California Baptist University actors, producers and creative minds.

“I love theater and I think it’s an important part of any university,” said Samuel Carter, senior English and philosophy double major. “I think CBU has the love and the care to put on more productions like this one.”

There are many parts of the production that stand out for the audience. Every department of the play works together throughout the semester to ensure each component of the performance is perfectly assembled.

Lisa Lyons, director of the show, said that all the hard work makes it difficult to choose a specific moment that stands out the most from this piece, but there were a few things she was particularly excited about.

“Because we’ve blended music and the theater together at CBU, we are now The School of Performing Arts,” Lyons said. “So we have quite a few music students in the production, and the opening number is incredible. The students are standing in the aisleways and they’re singing. The sound is just really beautiful. I just love to close my eyes and listen.”

Camille Grochowski | CBU Banner Nathan Sporcich (left), senior marketing major, raises a shoe towards Brianne Jackson, junior theater major, who holds out her foot during the scene in which each lady must try on the forgotten slipper.

There is an underlying theme that makes this delivery of the fairytale special to CBU and its Christian values.

“There’s an element that is kind of biblical,” Lyons said. “The stepmother, as we know, chooses to treat Cinderella very badly. And so, they go to the ball and they do this game where you’re supposed to ridicule each other. So Cinderella comes and is supposed to ridicule her stepmother, but she doesn’t. She says ‘Oh you look lovely tonight,’ and the stepmother wonders why she’s not being ridiculed. And Cinderella goes, ‘That’s kindness.’ It’s funny yet touching. Then at the end, the stepmother tells her that she’s treated her rather poorly and asks for kindness. Then Cinderella says that she’ll give her the three most important words that you’ll ever hear: I forgive you.”

Even in a wicked character like the evil stepmother, there is humanity and even a little bit of humility found in her actions.

“I play Madam, who is the evil stepmom,” said Ashley Essex, senior theatre major. “It is honestly a lot of fun. The last show that I did was ‘Wizard of Oz’ here and I played Glinda, so I was the direct antithesis of that. It’s a lot of fun being able to do both sides of the spectrum. Even though she is so mean, she is fabulous.”

Camille Grochowski | CBU Banner Brianne Jackson, junior theater major, stands still as another cast member adjusts her wig before taking photos during the show’s Costume Parade.

This is just one character that is explored in a nuanced way in the production.

Cinderella is the last theater production of the season. CBU student admission tickets are $10 when purchased at the Theater Box Office. Opening night is March 31 at 7:30 p.m., while other times to see the play include April 1 and April 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. as well as April 13 and 14 at 7:30pm.

“I’m really excited to see what direction they take it in,” Carter said. “I’ve never actually seen the Broadway version of ‘Cinderella,’ but I imagine it’s got to have more depth than the Disney version. So I’m really interested in watching this play.”

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