A Kid's Eye View: ‘Cinderella’ Takes the Stage
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra presented another Lollipops concerts on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Belk Theatre in the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The symphony, along with the Enchantment Theatre Company, brought the story of Cinderella to the stage, and my mom, my brother and I were among lots of parents and kids (and princesses, too) who were lucky enough to enjoy the show.
The symphony set up tables for kids to try out instruments earlier in the morning prior to the show. Kids lined up to shake tambourines, hit drums and blow horns. There also was a craft table for children to make their own "music maker," like a tambourine. Although lots of children made instruments, thankfully, I didn't hear any during the concert! It would have been distracting.
The show began with the conductor, Alan Yamamoto, explaining the music the Charlotte Symphony was going to play and some of the instruments the musicians used. I thought that was a good idea, because I hadn't heard of composer Sergei Prokofiev before. But I did recognize some of the music, and it was really beautiful. The audience thought so, too, and clapped intensely after every song.
After the symphony played songs that represented different parts of the story of Cinderella (sweet wedding bells for the "they lived happily ever after" part), the actors took over. The Enchantment Theatre Company's version of the story of the poor cinder girl taking care of her mean stepsisters and stepmother, meeting her fairy godmother, riding to the ball in the fancy coach pulled by white horses and then meeting the handsome prince was really different, and not what I expected.
Instead of a regular play with actors speaking or singing, this group used life-size puppets and masks to act out the story. I have to admit, I was really hoping the actors would talk, like in a real play. The idea of using puppets is a great one - like they do in the Broadway show "The Lion King," which I saw in Washington, D.C., last summer - but I just didn't care for these puppets. I found some of them a little scary ... not monster scary, but a little creepy, anyway.
The little princes and princesses in the audience around me didn't seem to mind, however, and were really into the show. Everyone seemed to enjoy watching the pumpkin transform into a coach and the stage turn into a ballroom where Cinderella and the stepsisters danced.
Overall, "Cinderella" was a hit. I really enjoyed the symphony's music, and I would recommend any of the Charlotte Symphony's Lollipops shows for kids ages 1-10.
Editor's Note: The last Lollipops concert for the 2008-09 season will be presented on Saturday, April 25. The CSO and students from the School of the North Carolina Dance Theatre will perform "Dances and Dreams, " a selection of scenes from three fairytale ballets: "The Sleeping Beauty," "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker."
It's Charlotte Parent day at the symphony, so come join the fun! Tickets are $10, but Charlotte Parent magazine readers get 25 percent off. Use promo code CPMAG when ordering my phone, or download a coupon to use at the door at www.charlotteparent.com.
Cyre Clark is the 11-year-old daughter of web editor, Meaghan Clark.