Located on the northwest side of Indianapolis in College Park, the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre opened in 1973. It has earned the reputation of providing a delicious buffet followed by a premier live stage show. The 2011 season family oriented musical production is the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
The show opens with a rousing musical number announcing that Prince Charming (Aaron Young) is giving a ball. The second scene at Cinderella’s (Lindsay Sutton) house introduces us to the mean stepmother (Lynne Perkins) and the two even meaner stepsisters (Jeff Stockberger and Doug King). At once patrons realize they are in for a real treat. The two stepsisters, Portia and Joy, are characters to say the least. Stockberger and King, in outlandish costumes, wigs, and makeup play their parts to the hilt. Stockberger’s facial expressions garner laughs upon view, and King’s deadpan reactions are hilarious in their own right. Read the background of how Stockberger and King prepared for their drag roles here.
We all know the story. Prince Charming wants to find a Princess to marry. The ball is supposed to provide a chance for him to find said Princess. Every girl in the kingdom wants the Prince. Joy and Portia are convinced one of them will be picked. Cinderella is, of course, prohibited from going to the ball. Enter her Fairy Godmother.
Our daughter and granddaughter joined us for this show. The expression on our six year old granddaughter’s face was priceless when she watched the Fairy Godmother wave her magic wand and create flowers on the table, light the fire in the fireplace, and fulfill Cinderella’s wish for a pumpkin to turn into an elegant coach to carry her to the Prince’s ball. The special effects of these transformations were a highlight in the production’s sets and lighting.
Of course Cinderella went to the ball and met and danced with her Prince Charming. Portia and Joy once again provided hilarious antics as they maneuvered on the dance floor trying to get to the Prince, or any man for that matter. Finally Cinderella was alone with Prince Charming, where they proclaimed their love for each other. Then alas, that pesky midnight hour comes along and Cinderella had to go, leaving her slipper behind.
The Prince wants to find the girl with whom he fell in love. Enter another fun character, the Town Crier (Will Hutchinson) who has been acting as an announcer throughout the production. Hutchinson provides an animated character with fanciful expressions, both facial and verbal. He heads into the audience looking for the girl who fits the slipper. Of course Prince Charming ends up fitting the slipper on Cinderella. They get married and they all live happily ever after. One is never far from a beautiful tune during this production. All scenes feature magical music and songs from that remarkable duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
This is a wonderful musical to share with your daughters and granddaughters. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has 53 performances scheduled in the intimate space of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $36 to $59, with a $10 discount for kids ages 3-15. Tickets include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, coffee, tea and lemonade. Chef Odell has items on this buffet that are family-friendly, including chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, and other items. Of course grownups will find adult selections as well.
Personally enjoyed the evening performance on May 14, 2011 with my three Princesses: My wife, my daughter and my granddaughter.
Beef & Boards