Students Charlie Binder and Debra Moraitis rehearse for “Cinderella” Nov. 1 at Bloomfield Hills High School.

Students Charlie Binder and Debra Moraitis rehearse for “Cinderella” Nov. 1 at Bloomfield Hills High School.

Photo by Deb Jacques

‘Cinderella’ is more than magic

By: Linda Shepard | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 5, 2018


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Despite a flying fairy godmother, the Bloomfield Hills High School production of “Cinderella” is about people, their motivations and their actions.  

“Cinderella and the prince are not just magical,” director Mary Bogrette said during a Nov. 1 rehearsal in the school auditorium. “The play is more about character, and there is more depth. It is an ambitious project.”

The Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical production features a large cast and dozens of crew members.

“The music is different from the Disney (‘Cinderella’) version,” said Debra Moraitis, 17, a high school senior who plays the title role. “It is more complex and realistic.”

Nonetheless, after growing up surrounded by Disney, playing the role is a “dream come true,” she said.  

Prince Charming Charlie Binder said he had little knowledge of the story.

“I never watched ‘Cinderella,’” he said. “I came in blind. But I’ve learned about the stories behind the main plot, and it’s been a fun experience.”   

Flying cast members will receive assistance from a team of experts from Las Vegas, who will help the fairy godmother and a flying knight learn the technical tricks of sailing across a stage.

“We’ve never used this flying system before,” Bogrette said.

Additional special effects — along with sophisticated lighting — will enable a “twirl transformation” when Cinderella’s rags become a ballgown.

“My crown pops up,” Moraitis said.

Musical director Jessica Riley said the cast, the crew and the musicians are dedicated to the project.

“The music is so stunningly beautiful,” Riley said. “The kids are doing a remarkable job.”

Bloomfield Hills High School will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 16 and 17 in the school’s performing arts theater. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 for students.

In addition to the performances, Cinderella and the fairy godmother invite children to attend a magical tea party. The performing arts theater will host a princess tea and knight training 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the theater.

Events include snacks, photos, face painting, crafts and mingling with cast members. Tickets cost $20 per child. All proceeds will benefit Bloomfield Hills High School’s theater department.

Bloomfield Hills High School is located at 4200 Andover Road. For play and children’s tea tickets or more information, call (248) 346-0190 or visit