Front Row Reviewers

At Provo’s Covey Center for the Arts, Fairy Tales Do Come True in Utah Metropolitan Ballet’s Cinderella

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

A Review By Rae Hunt, Review for Front Row Reviewers

At Provo’s Covey Center for the Arts, Utah Metropolitan Ballet is bringing the fairy tale classic Cinderella to life. With music by Giaocchino Antonio Rossini and choreography by Jacqueline P. Colledge, this is a classic rags-to-riches fairytale.

Cinderella (Amy Cook) is a young girl in the custody of her Stepmother (Natalie Kirkham), who treats Cinderella as a household servant at the beck and call of not only herself but also her two daughters (Peiter Mortensen and Ryan Richardson). In the meantime, the King and Queen ( Eric Ascione and Ariel Wright) of the land are determined that their son, the Prince (Cyrus Shaskan), get married. To that end, they host a ball where all of the eligible maidens in the land are invited to meet and dance with the Prince. Cinderella is left behind when her stepmother and stepsisters go to the ball without her. Distraught at being left home, Cinderella cries and her tears summon her Fairy Godmother (Hannah Jackson). The fairy agrees to help Cinderella make it to the ball with magic, but cautions her that she must leave before the stroke of midnight or the magic will disappear. At the ball, Cinderella meets the Prince, who is smitten at the first sight of her. Enthralled by the Prince, Cinderella fails to leave the ball before midnight and is forced to flee as the clock chimes the hour of midnight. In her haste she loses one of her tiny shoes. The prince vows to marry the girl who fits the shoe and a search of the kingdom ensues. I couldn’t help but cheer as he finds Cinderella and carries her off to their happy-ever-after.

Cook is the principal dancer, Cinderella. Her performance is masterful. I found her portrayal of Cinderella to be charming and graceful. She really conveys a sense of fanciful restlessness where she longs for a different life. She has quite a lot of time on stage and performs exquisitely.

Shaskan portrays a believable Prince who is bored at the ball until Cinderella arrives. He clearly has no desire for any of the young women who flock around him and is especially repulsed by the stepsisters who chase him mercilessly across the stage. His powerful performance radiates across the stage with every jump and leap.

Hannah Jackson is so beautiful and gracious as the Fairy Godmother. Her Fairy Attendants of the North, South, East, and West (Sydney Lee, Alex Hatch, Isabella Nova, Andrea Chickness) are equally benevolent and graceful. The Cavalier (Mateo Garattoni) is handsome and a great support for the fairies.

The Stepmother, as played by Kirkham, is imperious and demanding of Cinderella. Every time Cinderella is found to be distracted, or off in her own little world, the wicked Stepmother is there to get her back on task or to push her around. Kirkham plays this role to a T.

Mortensen and Richardson are perfect as the bumbling, brutish, and ugly stepsisters. They definitely add an air of comedy to the performance and are a delight to watch. I loved watching them as they fought for the attention of the Prince at the ball and overall, they are very animated and delightful in each of their appearances. This absolutely makes them two of my favorite characters in this performance.

The King and Queen played by Ascione and Wright are stately and poised. You can see through their performances that they care for their son and for their subjects.

Toshihiro Harada plays the Jester. This character caught my eye at the ball as he is delightful and comedic with this role. Throughout the entirety of the second act, he engages with the other dancers and delights the audience. His acrobatics and cartwheels are effortless. His performance was particularly and truly delightful for the kids seated near me.

The Ball, itself, is quite the exquisite exhibition of solo performances and the ensemble is well-coordinated and absolutely stunning. Although there are too many to name individually, I was delighted throughout the entire performance by this diverse and colorful cast. They are all so very talented and graceful.

This production is absolutely mind-boggling with the amount of talent by the production crew. The Set Design by Nat Reed is absolutely stunning. The colors and detail of each scene are perfect to capture the essence of Cinderella’s world. Scenic Design by Bill Kirkpatrick and Lighting by Marianne Ohran complement the story and time period the story is set in. The Costuming by Sarah B Price and Suellen Baum is ethereal. The onstage costume change for Cinderella as she goes from pauper to princess is just magical. The beautiful choreography is the creation of Jaqueline P Colledge. To top off this amazing production crew, we have the talented orchestra directed by Marcel Bowman, playing the music score composed by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini.

This rendition of the fairytale is beautiful and graceful and an absolute delight to watch. You won’t want to miss a minute of this story!

Utah Metropolitan Ballet presents Cinderella; Music by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini
Provo Covey Center for the Arts, 425 West Center, Provo UT 84601
Mar 1-4, 2024, Show times vary, see site for individual performance details.
Tickets: $36-46
Contact: (801) 796-7323

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