By Jocelyn Rhodes Cook, Contributing Writer
PHOENIX, NY – The Phoenix Chorus and Drama Booster Club wanted to do something a little different to promote the spring musical this year.
The show, “Cinderella,” is sure to be a favorite for the younger crowd in attendance and the group decided what better way to get the kids into the spirit of the show than to let them be royalty for a day?
So this past Saturday, a Royal Ball and Tea Party was held in the John C. Birdlebough cafeteria for any little princesses, knights, and their watchful escorts to attend and be a part of the magic of the show for the afternoon.
Cast members for the musical were on hand, from royalty to minstrels to jesters, and everyone stayed in character to the delight of the young partygoers.
One mother, Bonnie Lough of Pennellville, said she appreciated the event for her little ones, whose sister, Brandi, is a part of the cast of this year’s musical.
“She wouldn’t be able to sit still for the whole play,” she stated of the younger of two kids, Marlin and Jazmyn, with her at the event. “It’s nice that she can do this instead.”
Happily devouring a small cupcake while decked out in full princess dress, Jazmyn exclaimed, “It’s delicious!” when asked about the royal treats on hand for the taking.
“It tastes like oranges,” she explained, grinning happily around her tiny vibrantly colored cupcake.
Early on in the event, the cast took the time to bring some of the youngsters up on stage, where they were surrounded by scenery built for the show.
They were treated to jokes by one of the jesters, and later, were lead back to the costume room to get a taste of the behind-the-scenes magic of the production.
After the tour, a crowd of little princesses, along with just two small knights at the party, entered the cafeteria to see a punch fountain complete with plastic glasses they could take home with them, trays of food, a photo booth, and cast members weaving through the crowd in full costume, all smiles for their royal guests of honor.
And after a few minutes of preparation, during which parents sat at decorated tables and relaxed with kids snacking away and admiring one another’s royal outfits, organizers of the event called cast members and guests alike up for a photo opportunity no parent in attendance was willing to miss.
Finally, the event turned to a presentation of each guest to the court; every little visitor was given a certificate stating their title as an official princess or knight by the Prince.
The princesses were taught how to curtsy by the ladies of the court.
While many attempted the gesture after being prompted, most took their certificate and immediately retreated to proud parents waiting in the wings.
For just a few hours that afternoon, the young guests got to imagine themselves princesses and knights for a day, and a dedicated group of cast members and organizers were happy to help make it happen.
“Cinderella, The Musical” will have four showings at John C. Birdlebough High School – Thursday at 4 p.m. and Friday at 7:30 p.m., in addition to two shows Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for students, $8 for adults. And just like the royal tea party, all ages are welcome.