What does a director do when two actors seem perfect for the same leading role?
In Patrick Sweet's case, he just chose both of them for the title role in "Cinderella," the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that will run Feb. 19-22 [THURSDAY-SUNDAY] in ECU's Dorothy Summers Theatre.
Sweet, director of East Central University's Music Theatre Program, cast Brittany Trail, an Ada junior, as Cinderella for the 8 p.m. Thursday opening performance and the Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Amanda Tarver, a senior from Chandler, Ariz., will be Cinderella in the 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday performances.
Which Cinderella is the girl who ran away from the Ball at midnight? Jomain McKenzie (center) plays the Prince in "Cinderella," the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that will be staged Feb. 19-22 [THURSDAY-SATURDAY] at East Central University. Brittany Trail (left) and Amanda Tarver will share the role of Cinderella, with each performing in two shows. Performances on Thursday and Friday nights will begin at 8 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday matinees will begin at 2 p.m. in the Dorothy Summers Theatre. Tickets are on sale in the Bursar's Office in ECU's Administration Building.
"Both were deserving of the role," Sweet said. "Both can sing, dance and act."
But each actor plays the role a little differently, he said.
"Each comes from a real place, but a different place," he said. "One (of the Cinderellas) is more exploratory in life. The other is being dutiful and confined -- until her heart's wish is heard. Enter the Fairy Godmother," Sweet said with a smile.
The prince will be portrayed by Jomain McKenzie, a junior from Clarendon, Jamaica.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote "Cinderella" for television and it was broadcast live on CBS on March 31, 1957, with Julie Andrews in the title role.
The musical was remade for television in 1965 with Lesley Ann Warren and in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella.
ECU will stage the 1957 version of the fairy tale and add two songs written for the show that were not used in the live broadcast, Sweet said. The cast also includes area youngsters and community members.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and non-ECU students for general admission seating. ECU students, faculty and staff will be admitted free. Tickets must be purchased in person in the Bursar's Office in Room 108 of the Administration Building. They also can be purchased at the box office which will open 30 minutes before each performance.
The musical is one of ECU's Centennial events as the university celebrates its 100th birthday in 2009.
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