May 18, 2006

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Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
Comedy is the main draw for Peacock Player’s Cinderella
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

The Peacock Players started their two-weekend run of Cinderella Friday at the 14 Court St. Theatre in Nashua, using a shortened-for-family-entertainment version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show that was written for television. Most of the leads are teenagers who have had plenty of stage time, and they throw in plenty to laugh at in this version.

The Peacock Players’ new artistic director, Keith Weirich, has appeared in Broadway and national tours as well and has performed for more than 25 years. He also has a connection with Julie Andrews, for whom the musical was written. Weirich sought her advice and incorporated her ideas to condense the 1957 Cinderella from three acts to two.

The kids in the show also added, Weirich said. The stepsisters Joan-Seda Bejaniance (Lucinda), a veteran Peacock Player, and Stephanie Hogan (Drucilla), who has performed at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, are pretty much a show unto themselves whether they are trading zingers or hamming up a musical number.

Brady Lynch, a junior from Souhegan High School, portrays a big-hearted, zany godmother perfectly. She looks like she’s gently inspiring confidence in the forlorn, pushover Cinderella, but that attitude seems less like an act while she’s leading the cast’s youngest characters, the cinderfairies, through a dance on stage.

The king and queen, played by Billy Steeves and Kathleen Sexton of Merrimack High School, did well portraying a tender married couple, particularly for teenagers. They kept the audience in hysterics, especially with one of Steeves’ jokes that involved a prolonged reference to his beer gut. Sexton is wrapping up her Peacock career with Cinderella before majoring in musical theater at Plymouth State College.

The steward, played by Brad Koed, who had the lead in Flowers for Algernon, was only on stage for a short time but brought the house down with lines such as, “I got a new fragrance, I smell like a floral sanctuary.”

Even at almost 50 years old, the show’s scenarios are still familiar. A father tells his son to act happy so as not to disappoint his mother. A mother tells her son that thinking you are in love with someone you met briefly doesn’t mean that you are going to find that person and live happily ever after. But of course, this is a fairy tale.

The show featured a live band behind the backdrop of clock gears, and they used a projection of a clock on the stage floor for the clock striking midnight.

In another Julie Andrews connection, the Peacock Players will be putting on The Sound of Music for their parent show in August..


05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
04/20/2006 Find yourself in Yonkers
04/13/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
04/06/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
03/30/2006 Cabaret is Mnchester bound
03/23/2006 A 42nd Street detour
03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palace’s Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
Great play, too bad it’s over
Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
It’s cabaret, hear it sing, joke, tease
It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesn’t lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxi’s driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Players’ Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid
Plaid (II)
Playing with man’s best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
Tosca

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to ‘night Mother