by: Maryann Lopinto
EVER AFTER opened at the Papermill in Millburn, New Jersey on Sunday, May 31st. Based on the motion picture of the same name, it’s another version of “Cinderella.” The motion picture starred Drew Barrymore as Danielle de Barbarac, and Anjelica Huston as the stepmother. Danielle is raised by her step mother after her father dies along with two step sisters. Daneille becomes servant to the three, a part of the staff, and at the end finds her Prince Charming – Prince Henry to “live happily ever after.”
This is a strong and beautiful cast with so many Broadway performers. Christine Ebersole has the role of the stepmother Rodmilla, Margo Seibert (Rocky) is Daneille, and James Snyder (If, Then and Cry-Baby) is Prince Henry. Julie Halston and Charles Shaughnessy, the Queen and King respectively, want to get Henry married. Their plan to marry him off to the Queen of Spain is not to Henry’s liking. He has other things on his mind. Tony Sheldon (Priscilla) protrays Leonardo Da Vinci who is giving advice to Danieille as to what to do and who to marry and is her guidance – her fairy god mother, if you will. We have Annie Funke and Mara Davi as the stepsisters and Rodmilla is pushing one of them to marry the prince. Andrew Keenan-Bolger plays Gustave who also works as staff and is a friend to Danielle. The ensemble is strong as well and have numerous Broadway credits too.
The creators are mostly women, the Book and Lyrics are by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich who are well known in NYC. Choreography and direction are by award winning Kathleen Marshall. Beautiful and classsic costumes are by Jess Goldstein, with sets by Derek McLane.
This beautiful and moving musical, is a show for all ages and a must for Broadway musical lovers! The songs are loving, passionate and moving. These two ladies have written such great songs, and for the first time in many a year, I walked out huming a few of the songs from a brand new musical. It is just a stones throw from New York City. The Papermill Playhouse is a birthing place for musicals as well as bringing back some of the older classics. Recently, both NEWSIES and HONEYMOON IN VEGAS made their way from Papermill Playhouse to the Great White Way. Hopefully EVER AFTER will follow suit. This show has given both Margo Seibert and James Snyder a boost and a chance to be leading Broadway stars in this vehicle.
PS: Here’s a real human interest story that happened to Maryann on opening night. It was a heavy rainstorm, coming down in buckets as she left the train station to walk to the theater. Well, she wound up getting a little lost because of the heavy rains. Sopping wet, trying to get a sense of direction, who should exit a nearby restaurant with some take out food, rushing to a van parked outside . . . James Snyder. He looked at Maryann (whom he knew) and shoved her into the van to take her to the theater. Rescued by Prince Charming!
EVER AFTER will run through June 21st. 22 Brookside Dr, Millburn, NJ (973) 376-4343