The theatre at Belgrade High School has been transformed into a magical kingdom where top-notch talent will enchant audiences starting this evening in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, “Cinderella.”
During the cast and crew’s first rehearsal with the pit orchestra Monday afternoon, no missed cue, misplaced prop or misstep of a dancer escaped the notice of Director Lynn West. Just before a dinner break, she shared her observations and suggestions with the receptive ensemble, which has been working on the show since September.
Acknowledging the new rough spots that would be smoothed out over the next few days as the musicians and the cast blend their parts together, senior Amelia McNeil said, “I really like how it’s all scattered, but in the end it all just does come together.”
McNeil, who is playing Cinderella’s fairy godmother, is one of several veteran actors who have participated in some or all of the drama department’s productions during their high school careers. McNeil, still wearing a sequined gold gown after a couple run-throughs of the scene in which she grants Cinderella’s wish to go to the ball, said she was very excited for the chance to be part of this particular “sparkly” and “glittery” play.
Like McNeil, many of the seniors have participated in former Belgrade High productions. Two notable exceptions are Haley Mead (Cinderella) and Shaye Mamangun (Prince Christopher), both of whom will make their debuts tonight on the BHS stage.
Mead, who will major in musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City starting next year, describes the experience as “the highlight of my high school career.” She moved to Belgrade last spring from Wisconsin, where her former high school did not have a drama program.
Mamangun, on the other hand, said he wasn’t seeking the limelight when he set out to land a role as a mouse during auditions in the fall. Instead, he found himself cast in a leading role as the dashing prince with several solos in which “the notes are kind of high.”
Others, including seniors Lori Marx and Eduardo Delgado who play the royal prince’s parents, say they wanted to be part of another production as they have in past years at Belgrade High. Both said they particularly like the set and “amazing props” for “Cinderella.”
More than 50 people are lending their talents as cast, crew and musicians for the BHS rendition of the musical, which West says endures “because it is a story of hope, where good triumphs in the end.”
Three performances are scheduled: Thursday and Friday, Nov. 18 and 19, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. in the Belgrade High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. They may be purchased at Town & Country Foods in Belgrade or at the door an hour before each performance.