Norwalk Reflector: Bellevue students in 'detailing' mode for 'Cinderella'

Bellevue students in 'detailing' mode for 'Cinderella'

Cary Ashby • Apr 1, 2017 at 6:00 PM

BELLEVUE — Richard Tobey II admits he’s “gone from 0 to 60 (mph) in the drama world.”

Tobey, the 16-year-old son of Rick and Leah, is playing the prince in “Cinderella.” Bellevue Senior High School students will perform the musical, based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein version, at 7 p.m. April 7 and 8 and again at 3 p.m. April 9 at Bellevue Elementary School.

“This is only my second musical. My first was ‘The Addams Family,’ when I played Lucas,” said Tobey, who joined the Bellevue Drama Club in the eighth grade.

“It all started with Alli. She said I should audition,” he added, referring to junior Alli Scott who plays Ella, better known as Cinderella. “It’s fun. It gives me something to do.”

Tobey’s prince meets Ella in a scene with sophomore Patty Oddo as Crazy Marie, who becomes Ella’s fairy godmother. Throughout “Cinderella,” Tobey said his character is taking back the power from “tyrannical, bad proctor Sebastian,” played by senior Jacob Strecker.

“I don’t think much of (Ella) except she’s a good friend of the crazy woman my soldiers try to kill,” Tobey said.

Crazy Marie spends her time in the woods, singing about the importance of dreams and achieving the impossible.

“The only person who listens to her is Cinderella. She wants to reward her for being kind to her,” said Oddo, the 16-year-old daughter of Patty.

Rehearsals started about seven weeks ago. There are 34 cast members and an 18-member stage crew.

“Three members of the crew are in middle school. We call them BMS Littles,” Scott said.

In the fall production of “The Addams Family,” the 17-year-old junior played Alice, a role written to mirror Morticia on the TV series. Now, Scott takes on the lead in “Cinderella” — a first for the daughter of David Scott and Missi Yanda.

“In this show we call her Ella. This show is not the Disney version,” Alli Scott said. “The stepmother calls her Cinderella because she sits by the cinders by the fire.”

Senior Jillian Bradley plays the stepmother. 

Angie Sommers is the director. 

“I think it’s going really well,” she said, referring to rehearsals. “We are just detailing it now. I think once they get into their (full) costumes, they will really feel it.”

Sommers, in her fifth year directing for Bellevue, considers this version of “Cinderella” timely.

“The show definitely is based more on (what’s happening) now. The show is about the revolution, the needy. I feel like it’s very relatable to the time,” she said.

In the very first rehearsal, the lead actors and actresses worked on their monologues.

“We’ve done a lot of character development from the get-go,” Scott said.

Her speaking voice has changed slightly as “Cinderalla” rehearsals have progressed.

“I use different voices for the characters I do,” the teenager said. 

“I realize I talk up here now,” she added, pitching her voice upward. “This is where my voice sits now.”

As rehearsals started, Tobey realized he would be challenged with the songs he would perform as the prince. But he said he has gained confidence in his singing.

“We’ve come a long way since (the beginning). We are in the polishing stages,” he said.

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