The classic tale of a young peasant girl who changes the lives of those around her with her extraordinary kindness and a single glass slipper gets a fresh look this week in Stockdale High’s production of "Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella." The performing arts department has been working hard preparing the famous story with fresh eyes.

“This show is wonderful, and probably one of my favorites,” said Ethan Simpson, 17, who plays the inimitable Prince Charming. “The magic that happens in this show seems almost real to me and I’ve seen the behind the scenes.”

And just how are they bringing that Broadway magic to the high school stage? Directed by CJ Pope, the show features a masterful set by Sam Jenkins, gorgeously done costumes by Jane Pape and professional lighting by Steven Giltner. On top of all that, the production will feature a live orchestra of Stockdale students, directed by Stockdale’s own John Biller.

“Huge. That’s what I think when I hear this orchestra” says Angel Ramos, 15, who plays bass in the orchestra pit. “The score has a very joyful yet sometimes suspenseful sound to it that is very unique.”

It’s that very same music that ties this fresh story back to its classical roots. While the audience may not recognize the rebellious firebrand Jean Michel, determined to change the way his government rules, or the prince’s slimy right-hand man Sebastian, they will have no trouble seeing the classic elements of this childhood fairy tale that make it so enduring.

“What I love about this adaptation is that is portrays Ella as more than another simple princess,” says Mary O’Reilly, 17, who plays the title character. “I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity through Ella to show young girls the importance of kindness and that anything’s possible.”

"Cinderella" runs at 7 p.m. today through Saturday and March 7 and 8 and 2 p.m. March 9 at Stockdale High School, 2800 Buena Vista Road. Tickets are $15, $10 for students ($8 with an ASB sticker) and $8 for seniors over 65 and children under 10.

Sarah May is a senior at Stockdale High School.

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