The Prince Has Given The Ball! – This Year’s Musical In Review
by Salvatore Viviano ’19 and Jeremy Tu ’17
The classic story of Cinderella has been known for generations, telling of a girl who overcomes her stepsisters’ and step mother’s selfish desires and marries the prince of her dreams. Thanks to the invention of the motion picture and book, many stories have been heavily popularized over the years. One such story is Cinderella, which has been retold in many forms—one of which is the musical by Roger and Hammerstein. For Tech’s 2017 musical, the English, Music, and Visual Arts departments came together to perform the classic tale with astounding results.
The cast was full of dedicated, talented students who put their hearts and souls into making the musical a success. There were so many talented auditionees this year that the director, Mr. Velazquez, decided to have split casts for a few of the star roles, namely Ella, Marie, Gabrielle, and Charlotte. There were also participants in the ensemble, many of whom performed in the dance at the end of Act I. All of the choreography would not have been possible without Kenny Gan ‘17, who spent countless hours teaching the entire cast, regardless of ability, how to waltz around the stage. He still got to play as the Fox and Footman and executed the intense chase scene rather perfectly with Yash Mahtani ‘17. Three cast members that especially shined on Saturday night were the Fairy Godmother (Madelaine Lebetkin), Gabrielle (Allison Brook), and Jean-Michel (Dedrick McAlmont), who all showed a lot of talent for both drama and vocals. All should look forward to seeing these people featured in future productions.
Musicals would be completely lifeless without music, and the pit orchestra for Cinderella pulled all of the stops. Led by Mrs. Lapierre, the orchestra teacher, and Mr. Fischer of Tech’s band, the pit added a very professional veneer and a lot of color to the musical numbers. This musical was especially “more difficult in recent times”, according to Mrs. Lapierre, though in the grand scheme of things, it went as well as any other musical she has taken part of in 28 years. The added spike in difficulty on the pit’s part had to do with the addition of string instruments this year. However, most of it had to do with the need to coordinate itself and with the ensemble.
Reflecting on improvements is always an option for performers and design. Mrs. Lapierre said, “I thought it was fantastic. The kids put a lot of a time and effort into it,” while adding, “I’ve done this for 28 years, but this musical is probably the hardest in recent times.” She also explained that, “The carriage seemed to be overdone. The steps, which I thought were important, were too plain.”
The audience, according to Carmen Tang ‘18, “reacted a lot for the last three nights of the show, especially Thursday. There was a lot of ‘oo’ing.”
Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the musical!
Editor’s Note: The cost of the musical ends up around $1500-3000, thanks to much of the funds covered by the PTA, not $8000-20,000 as previously written.