An exciting, visually stunning new Cinderella at Walnut Street Theatre

Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
This Cinderella still has all the favorite songs we know from musical theatre history: “In My Own Little Corner;” “Impossible/It’s Possible;” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” and much more. Under the musical direction of Chris Burcheri, this large, live orchestra provides awesome accompaniment to the galaxy of stars this company has selected for this iconic musical. Glancing at the thumbnail headshots of the cast in the program, you’ll note many familiar faces like Ben Dibble, Adam Hoyak, Adam Mandala, Fran Prisco, Rebecca Robbins, and Philadelphia legend Mary Martello along with amazing new talent. All of the cast appears electrified in their performances, with spot-on timing and totally committed passion. 
Cinderella (here called Ella, her name before her evil stepmother snidely coins the name Cinderella) is the awesome Kathryn Brunner, returning here to wow us once again. She previously appeared on this stage as Elle in Legally Blonde. Her acting, singing, and Wonder-Woman spinning to quick-change her costumes were flawless. The Prince here is called Topher (short for Christopher), and he is the sparkling, tall, dark, and handsome Brent Thiessen, sigh! He is making a donation to the Born This Way Foundation, which helps young people navigate mental health troubles in their lives. What a Prince of a fellow. Reading the biographies of the cast we find love! Adam Hoyak (Jean-Michel) and Adam Mandala (Ensemble) both acknowledge each other with the closing sentences in their bios. Each writes, “For my love, Adam Mandala,” from Adam Hoyak, while Adam Mandala writes, “For my love, Adam Hoyak.” You’ll be  verklempt. Fran Prisco is a prissy villain, Ben Dibble is a stentorian Lord Pinkleton who announces magnificently that the Prince is giving a ball. Marie, being both a crazy lady of the town and a Fairy Genius is beautifully acted and sung by Rebecca Robbins, who has starred in many Walnut Street Theatre productions. Another outstanding actress plays Madame, the evil stepmother of Ella. Mary Martello has been in over thirty productions at this theatre, and she does superbly in her latest role. One of her best lines might be, “Why is this pumpkin on the table?”
The magic extends past the musical to the visual. What a physically beautiful production! Thanks to Scenic Design by Robert Andrew Kovach (grown women in the audience gasped at the magic coach), Costumes by Mary Folino, Lighting by David Neville, and perfect sound by Ed Chapman. Gerry McIntyre choreographed flawlessly, inspiring the ensemble to do flips and spins, and .. oh my! 
Kudos to the puppeteers!
Don’t wait another second to see this sparkling, feel-good musical masterpiece lovingly presented and sung by a top-notch cast at the peak of their powers. 
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella will be at the Walnut Street Theatre until December 31. 
Next will be Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, January 10-February 5, followed by Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, February 14-March 12.
For information and tickets, call 215-574-3550, or visit 

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