RANTOUL – The Rantoul Theatre Group will present as its spring family show a stage production of "Cinderella," opening May 16 at Grissom Hall Theatre, 914 Arends Blvd., Rantoul.
"Cinderella" will be the only Rantoul Theatre Group production of the 2008 season featuring a large cast of child actors. In addition to 35 children, four adults appear in the play.
The cast members hail from Rantoul, Gifford, Paxton, Mahomet, Champaign and Urbana. They are being directed by Larry Smith, with Patti Beerli as assistant director/stage manager.
Heading the cast is Jennifer Ivy as Cinderella, Jordan Humphrey as the Prince, and Libby Mueller as the Fairy Godmother. Sarah Pawlicki plays the "mime" Fellowe, Her Excellent Excellency, Ambassador Felipa Fandango from Averysmallcountrythatnooneeverherardof, and Anna Moore is the wicked stepmother, Freida Frumppkin.
Her mean daughters are Taylor Lykins as Thelma Frumppkin and Staci Brassi as Gertrude Frumppkin.
This play, which closely parallels the classic French fairy tale "Cinderella" by Charles Perrault, was written by Michele L. Vacca and is being produced by a special arrangement between the Rantoul Theatre Group and Classics On-Stage of Chicago.
The story: Cinderella, a poor orphan, is treated harshly by her stepmother and two stepsisters. She dreams of being able to attend the Grand Ball where Prince Philip is to meet his future bride. However, because of the greed and meanness of her stepmother and stepsisters, Cinderella is not permitted to go to the ball.
As in all good fairy tales, a benevolent Fairy Godmother watches over Cinderella and comes to her rescue. She attends the Grand Ball in style, but the spell wears off at the stroke of midnight when she reverts to the poor cinder-girl. Her beloved Prince searches the kingdom to locate the one girl whose foot fits the beautiful glass slipper.
Other cast members are Randy Offner as Lord Pettigrew Peabody, the Baron of Pickford; Dane Greene is King Ferdinando and Rosalynne Greene is Queen Isabellina, the rulers of Aragonia and Castillionia.
Aleah Combs is Harold the Royal Herald and Announcer. Laura Brandt is the Countess Pythagora Von Euclid, the Lady of Paradox, Royal Astrologer, Royal Wise Person and Royal Treasurer to the King.
The Royal Princesses are Abigale Carter, Isabelle Torres, Hannah Combs, Bree Davis, Megan Kloewer, Darian Bock, Hannah Hires and Ashley Baugher. Natasha Trefren, Alisa Greene, Breona Rix, Abigail Myers, Taylor Knowles, Tahalia Rusley, Madelyn Peters, Cree Noble and Kaleb Moore appear as the Royal Cousins, Countesses, Duchess, Lady of the Court and the Royal Knight Sir Sabastian.
Citizens of the realm are Katelyn Riffle, Allison Carver, Danielle Meister, Ashley Walp, Melissa Welch, Carson Church, Lisa Combs-Yowell, Lydia Mihaly, Clara Holt and Rebecca Minor.
"Cinderella" will be presented May 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25, with evening performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Reservations may be made by calling 892-1121 and leaving information on the answering machine. Patrons also may visit the Rantoul Theatre Group Web site at www.rtgonline.org for further information.
Grissom Hall Theatre has 190 seats and free parking.