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February 4-- Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you …especially if you’re in the audience at Columbia City Ballet’s full-length production of Cinderella. Choreographed by Executive and Artistic Director William Starrett, a performance is scheduled for March 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Southeastern Technical College.  Local dancers will also be a part of the production.  Tickets can be purchased at the Vidalia Onion City Museum or online at  Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students/children.


Cinderella and Prince Charming –

                Ballerina Regina Willoughby and Principal Dancer Mark Krieger in Columbia City Ballet’s production of Cinderella

        Photo by Burnie Flake

Cinderella, a French fairy tale by Charles Perrault, tells of a young girl’s triumphant journey  over the arrogance, greed and scorn of her stepsisters and stepmother.  Through her honesty, modesty and kindness she wins the love of a prince and discovers how one shoe can change a life. 

            The music for Cinderella was composed by Sergei Prokofiev during World War II and was first performed by the Bolshoi in 1945 with Galina Ulanova appearing as Cinderella.  Raisa Struchkova danced the role on stage for the Bolshoi in 1947, on film for the Bolshoi in 1960 and then in 1963 when the company appeared at the Royal Opera House.

            Cinderella has a long history with the Columbia City Ballet.  The company has presented Cinderella nine times over its 50-year history.  It was first performed in 1968 with Jenny Potts dancing the title role.  It was the first ballet Starrett choreographed 25 years ago after being named Artistic Director.   It was the first ballet Starrett danced after undergoing bilateral hip replacement in 1999- a story NBC chose to feature on Dateline NBC and viewed by 22 million people.  And, in the mid 1990’s Raisa Struchkova brought her talent and expertise from dancing the role for the Bolshoi to Columbia City Ballet as teacher and coach.

            “I am so thrilled to be producing Cinderella again,” said Starrett. “This ballet requires a very strong group of female dancers, and having so many strong women and such a large company, I realized that it was a perfect time to reprise this comic classic.

            Ballerina Regina Willoughby stars for the first time in the role of Cinderella, with Principal Dancer Mark Krieger in the role of the Prince. This production also features two local actors, Bobby Craft and Shane Mason, en travesti as the stepsisters, to lend to the comical side of the production. Craft, well known to Columbia audiences, performs frequently with Workshop Theatre and Trustus Theatre. Mason is featured in the TLC Reality Show Kings of Crowns that airs internationally to millions of viewers.  Company members Alexis Doktor and Maia Sosa will alternate the roles of the wicked stepmother. Soloists Claire Kallimanis and Katherine Smoak will alternate performances as the fairy godmother.

            After its last performance the “Savannah Morning News” reported, “Handsomely produced and marvelously danced, Cinderella made every fan’s wishes come true.  The sheer artistry of the dancing, the comic brilliance of the stepsisters and the magical, clearly-portrayed story make the production the perfect family event.”  This new production promises to live up to its past reputation of being an absolute favorite.

            For ticket information, visit the Vidalia Onion City Museum (behind the Toombs Montgomery Chamber of Commerce) or call Anna Bullard at 538-998.   Tickets can also be purchased online at