By James Grob, email@example.com
Olivia Wolfe said that there are definitely going to be some tears in her eyes when this show closes.
Wolfe, a senior at Charles City High School, has had the good fortune of landing some choice roles in her years of high school theater. She was Fiona in “Shrek” as a sophomore, Morticia in “The Addams Family” as a junior, and Dorothy in this past summer’s community theatre production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
This weekend, she’s Cinderella.
“I’ve been super lucky to have had those roles to play,” she said. “It’s kind of sad — this will be my last year.”
The Charles City High School music and drama departments will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” this weekend. Performances will be 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the old middle school, the North Grand Building in Charles City. Tickets are available online at showtix4u.com or by phone at 866-967-8167.
“It’s going to be an amazing show, and I think everybody is going to love it,” Wolfe said.
The musical is under the direction of Derek Sturtevant, Michelle Grob and Mike Lembke. Sturtevant said he chose “Cinderella” because the talent he had available seemed well-suited for the performance.
“We thought we had the actors and the actresses for it, and we thought it fit our cast well for this year,” he said. “I was looking for something that would best highlight the talent we have. It’s also exciting that we have some first-time actors and actresses on stage who have come a long way and learned a lot.”
While the title role of Cinderella will be played by Wolfe, the Prince will be played by junior Nathan Shultz. This is Shultz’s third high school play.
“There has been a lot of work with all the different characters, not just Cinderella, but with the King and Queen,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s finally started to click over the last two or three weeks. At first, I was very nervous, but with these last couple of weeks I’ve been very confident.”
Sturtevant said he’s happy he had Wolfe available to play the title role.
“It is nice to have someone with experience on stage who knows what they’re doing and feels very comfortable on stage,” he said.
Wolfe said she’s been amazed at how the cast has come together.
“This is really bittersweet. This show has come a long way, since the beginning. It’s been awesome to see all these new people and all these younger students really stepping up,” she said. “We lost a lot of people last year (to graduation) and we kind of thought this year was going to be an off year, but everyone’s done an amazing job and I’m so proud of everybody.”
Cinderella’s stepsisters will be played by Lily Woodard and McKenna Oleson. Emily Woodard will play the Queen, Aaron Montemayor will play the King, Ruby Peterson will play the Stepmother and Madi Lincoln will play the Fairy Godmother.
Sturtevant was quick to credit all the great work that’s been done behind the scenes.
“We have such a great tech group this year, it’s just awesome,” he said. “This is a very demanding show, a lot of set changes, so they have really stepped up to the plate here.”
The stage manager is Kristin George and the stage crew includes Aliyah Rodemaker, Taylor Michels, Jacquelyn Rutherford, Matt Hammond, Olivia Martin and Kiarra Mashek. Sound has been handled by Harley Onken and Edgina Ortiola. The make-up crew includes Bethany Jones and Katie Sindt, while lights are being run by Isaiah Ortiola, Keagen Dykstra and Hannah DeVore.
“These are the kids who don’t always get all the glory at the end of the show, but man, it doesn’t happen without them,” Sturtevant said.
The pit orchestra includes Lilly Usher, Libbie McKeag, Kiki Connell, Kyle Effle, Bethany Rhine, Darian Cleveland, Isaak Jensen, Hayden Pleggenkuhle, Amelia Rottinghaus, Justin Heyer, Renee Boss, Carter Johanningmeier, Harper McInroy, Ben Schwickerath, Jake Gassman and Melanie Johanningmeier.
“We have some really great players down there. Bethany Rhine has put together a great orchestra,” Sturtevant said. “It’s great to see them all involved.”
Set builders were Ben Naumann, David Bahe and Bob Frascht. Sandy Peterson is costuming the show. Janeice Bergland designed and painted all the set pieces.
“It is truly an honor to be able to work with such an incredibly talented artist and an inspiring person,” Sturtevant said of Bergland.
Amy Wolfe is the show’s dance choreographer, along with help from Jeff Kellogg. Olivia Wolfe said the dancing is among one of her favorite things about this particular production.
“My sister (Amy Wolfe) did a really awesome job with choreography this year, and it’s just a different style,” she said. “Not many of us even knew how to begin to waltz. All the dancing has been super fun.”
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is a Tony Award-winning musical comedy that has a contemporary take on the classic story. Songs include such classics as “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible” and “Ten Minutes Ago.”
“People are going to see a great show,” said Sturtevant. “It’s going to be a fairy tale up there, so come ready to laugh, and ooh and ah, and get all those warm fuzzy feelings.”
“Cinderella” cast list
- Cinderella — Olivia Wolfe.
- Prince — Nathan Shultz.
- Queen — Emily Woodard.
- King — Aaron Montemayor.
- Stepmother — Ruby Peterson.
- Joy (stepsister) — Lily Woodard.
- Portia (stepsister)— McKenna Oleson.
- Godmother — Madi Lincoln.
- Herald — Griffin Franksain.
- Capt .Guard — Sincere Collins.
- Chef/Father — Cael Ruzicka.
- Footman — Aliya Rodemaker.
- Horses — Matthew Hammond, Olivia Martin.
- Mother — Anastasia Baldus.
- Daughter — Rosie Baldus.
- 1 girl — Josie Groesbeck.
- 2 girl — Leslie Villagomez.
- 3 girl — Amber Smith.
- Oldest sister — Bailey Myhre.
- Sloppy girl — Eliza Wolford.
- Studious girl — Laurie Hart.
- Grandma — Ashlynn Cother.
- Woman — Nora Sullivan.
- Young sister — Makenna Jensen.
- Bad girl — Olyvia Zuspan.
- Little Boy — Jonah DeVore.
- Kid Sister — Reegan Severin.
- Abram Marth, Shane Fleming, Aliyah Ortiola, Laurie Hart, Emma Shmiedel, Sam Alinea, Jennifer Martin, Jodie Sindlinger, Marissa Daniels, Jacie Wink.