Imagine a warm summer night under the stars, red rock mountains looming far above the back drop and magic happening on the stage. No, strike that. Don’t imagine, just get tickets to see Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Tuacahn and you can see it all for yourself; it will surely be an enchanting evening, especially with the cast of this show.

It’s not your typical Disney version, it varies a bit from the cartoon we’ve all seen as or with our children but not by much and it certainly takes nothing away from the story; it actually adds to it.

Directed and choreographed by Jani Walsh-Weber, this adult, but completely suitable and enjoyable for children, version of Roger’s and Hammerstein’s musical simply enchanted a house full of both at Tuacahn’s Amphitheater on Tuesday, June 26.

It never fails to amaze the audience when cast members and special effects go beyond the limits of the stage and utilize both the earth and the sky to perform their magic. No walls, no boundaries; the performance takes place below, above and around; it makes you feel as if you are a part of it all.

Not that the actors have to work so hard at capturing your attention in the first place. It’s Cinderella, who doesn’t like the classic tale of pauper and prince? Besides, it’s Rogers and Hammerstein; you just can’t go wrong with the songs.

The actors in this play are also the actors in Matilda, which is also playing at Tuacahn now. The cast seems much more amazing when you see the versatility in the parts they play in either cast.

Rebecca Brudner plays the role of Ella, the mysterious but outspoken pauper turned princess in Cinderella; it’s a far cry from the shy educator who’s afraid of her own shadow in Matilda but she brings nothing but perfection to both roles.

Matt Ban is truly “bad” and couldn’t be more different either show. Ban plays the much feared and rather sadistic Miss Trunchbull in Matilda and brings out his “bad boy” as the insidious and underhanded Sebastian, counselor to the prince, in Cinderella. Ban’s characters may be bad but his performance is excellent in either role; no matter what the gender.

The sets are phenomenal, the effects grand; everything seems much larger than life and they use real horses, something you don’t see on stage every day.

The list of entertainers, their credits and the magic they perform on stage is endless; the experience of Tuacahn, an unmatched pleasure; you’ll just have to go see the shows for yourself they’re worth every penny.

For more information on the 2018 Tuacahn season and how to get tickets for both shows, visit their website,; there isn’t a bad seat in the house.