Durham News: Community

May 6, 2014

‘Cinderella’: A new take on an old tale

The lobby at Legacy Studios for the Performing Arts looked like a sewing room Sunday afternoon as parents and students worked on costumes for their latest show.

The lobby at Legacy Studios for the Performing Arts looks like a sewing room this week, but the front-room frenzy has more to do with the company’s new production than procrastination.

“Cinderella,” an original full-length ballet, is packed with beehived French courtesans, spunky jesters and requisite evil stepmother – played by Durham criminal defense lawyer Scott Holmes.

“The wig is more painful than the pointe shoes,” said Holmes, who grimaced at Sunday’s rehearsal as Keely Freeman Phillips attached the white, Marge Simpsonesque hairpiece to his head.

“Cinderella” is Legacy Repertory Company’s most ambitious ballet yet, with 56 adult and children performers and 77 new costumes that had to be created from scratch.

“Complicated, crazy, 18th century French costumes,” said board president Alyssa Rodriguez-Finch. “We’re still sewing dresses, and will be sewing dresses on Thursday, I bet.”

Founder and artistic director Boleyn Willis-Zeger based the ballet on the French version of the classic children’s tale by Charles Perrault. So forget magic mice carrying Cinderella to the ball and “Bippity Boppity Boo.”

But the other familiar ingredients remain, down to the glass slipper, fairy godmother, and handsome (and high-jumping) prince.

Legacy puts on one big show a year and holds one performance of it for young people from group homes and people with special needs, who might have to leave early or whose enthusiasm might otherwise distract audience members.

The company, too, is open to people of all ages and abilities.

“There isn’t anybody who’s not invited to perform,” Willis-Zeger said. “I haven’t had anybody in a walker or a wheelchair yet, but I’d find a way a way to make it work.”


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