The stage is set for a magical story on the power of kindness — and a great pair of shoes.
Rainbow Stage will present Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the outdoor theatre in Kildonan Park from Aug. 15 to 30.
In the director’s chair is River Heights’ Rob Herriot. A familiar face at Rainbow Stage, Herriot returns to the park after directing the 2018 production of Beauty and the Beast. It was an invitation to a ball he didn’t hesitate to accept.
"Coming into Beauty and the Beast last year, I’d never directed at Rainbow Stage and it was sort of a dream," Herriot said. "There’s a magic at Rainbow Stage; just being in that building, being in the park, being on that stage. A lot of us share that sentiment."
A great deal of attention has been paid to the look and feel of the theatre, Herriot said, in order to bring the classic fairy tale to life.
"For two hours, I want people to be drawn into the story and to lose themselves, so they’re living the fantasy with us," he said.
Behind the scenes, Narda McCarroll is providing her talents to the set and prop design, Fort Richmond’s Scott Henderson has a handle on lighting design, and Emily Porter is designing sound. With all that skill — and more — on set, Herriot said creating the "good old theatrical magic" called for by the script has been seamless.
"I’m surrounded by a brilliant set designer, and we talked for months about what this show was, and a fantastic lighting designer who can transform that stage into something miraculous, magical and otherworldly," he said. "We’re really all working as a unit to produce the most magical Cinderella we can."
"The magic, I can’t tell you too much about," Herriot teased, "but I can say that we did see some of the magic elements… and our jaws were on the ground. It was spectacular."
Bringing the charm to the title role is Charleswood’s Colleen Furlan. The 26-year-old is also a mainstay at Rainbow Stage, playing Ariel in the company’s production of The Little Mermaid, Cosette for Les Misérables, and Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act.
As Ella, Furlan said she hopes to bring honesty, truthfulness, and kindness to the character.
"Cinderella is such a selfless person. She thinks of others before herself and it’s also her journey in learning how to accept love and how to accept kindness from others."
Adapted to Broadway from the original 1957 television production starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was updated in 2013 to put Ella back in control of her fate.
"She makes a lot of decisions that come from herself, and it’s a lot more clear, and she has a lot more power and choice, which is really cool," Furlan said. "I think it’s such an important message to not get swept up in all the beautiful costumes and the love story. There’s so much more to it."
For tickets and showtimes go to rainbowstage.ca