Drama Club’s Cinderella dazzles, enchants audience with magical performance


Provided by Island Photography

MHS’ magical production of Cinderella was a success.

The high school’s production of the well-known musical, Cinderella, directed by Mr. Kevin F. Harrington, enchanted the audience with exceptional singing and animated acting on the evenings of March 4 and 5.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella brought the fairytale that everyone knows and loves to life. The musical tells the story of an unwanted peasant girl named Ella, played by senior Hannah Bentivegna, who is taken in by her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. With the help of her fairy godmother, she arrives at the ball where her true love Prince Topher, played by senior Brian Smith, will be searching for a royal bride.

In this musical rendition of the classic Cinderella story, there are a few differences with the Disney movie. First, there are not one, but rather two banquets that Prince Topher cordially invites the townspeople to attend. The first ball was created to find a bride for his soon to be wedding day, and the second ball was held to find the girl of his dreams that slipped away the first night.

Second, the musical features original music written by legendary Broadway composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein in place of the famous Disney soundtrack. In this version of the fairy tale, Cinderella’s main song is “In My Own Little Corner” instead of the famous “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” and the fairy godmother’s original song not “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” but rather the whimsical “Fol-De-Rol.”

The performance was filled with stunning costume changes, including the magical transformation of Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful ball gown.  To make this magical moment happen swiftly, Hannah Bentivegna had to quickly twirl around while untying a knot holding both dresses together. On the Friday night performance, there seemed to be a small malfunction— the swirling around and shimmering of lights came to an end when the knot wouldn’t budge. Hannah played it off very well by turning this incident into a funny, humorous moment for the audience and for the actors on stage.

“The show must go on! Even if there are problems that occur on stage you have to stay in character and do your best to keep the show moving along,” Hannah Bentivegna said.

Senior David Markey took on the powerful role of Jean-Michel, a poor man who is determined to never give up on his dream—. to stand by his beliefs and fight for fair treatment for all of the kingdom’s people.

Another standout actress in the musical was Maria Leonardi, who played Marie, the fairy godmother. As everyone knows, the fairy godmother  not only grants Cinderella’s wish but also serves as a symbol of hope and ambition. She is characterized as a motherly figure who is optimistic and kind. In this altered fairy tale of Cinderella, Marie is known as Crazy Marie for her ugly appearance that prevents the other characters from taking her seriously. Halfway through the show, the audience discovers that it was all an act; she is actually beautiful with magical powers, making her the fairy godmother.

“While the tale of Cinderella is somewhat simplistic, so many life lessons are present in the text. I hope that those who saw the production understood that everyone has control over their choices in life. And, through those choices, anything is possible!” director Mr. Kevin Harrington said.

The MHS pit orchestra dazzled the audience yet again. Several of the show’s songs, such as “Gavotte” and “Waltz for a Ball”, displayed their spectacular musical talent.

“I’m glad I was given the opportunity to join the musical and contribute my talents to the Pit Orchestra,” said senior Emily Li. “At first, playing the music seemed daunting, but in the end all of us were able to give a fantastic show.”

For some of the actors, this musical was their last performance on the MHS stage.

“I had a  great experience in my last show because I got to spend it with such great people,” said senior Alexia Castle, who played Madame, the evil stepmother, said.

All in all, Massapequa has put on another memorable show.

“I feel so blessed to share my passion for musical theatre with the students of Massapequa High School,” Mr. Harrington said. “To present a fully-staged Broadway musical is a complex task. I am so proud of all the students who participated in the production.”

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