Notre Dame’s presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella opens Nov. 16

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella will sweep you away with its gorgeous costumes, music and anecdotes, but may also surprise you with a few modern twists to the story. Based on a new book by Douglas Carter, Cinderella, or Ella, is smart, beautiful and curious. Her wicked stepmother and stepsisters are funny and add lightness to the story as do the charming prince and his scheming assistant. This production includes new characters and plot twists such as a sympathetic stepsister and Ella’s determination to enlighten the Prince on the injustice that exists in the kingdom.

The show opens November 16 at the Avondale High School Performing Arts Center in Auburn Hills.

Director David Fazzini, producer Meredith Gifford, orchestra pit director Joe Martin, choreographer Allison Kaufmann and vocal music director Ellie Carter are working to bring to the stage a highly talented musical ensemble and cast. Three of the main characters are double-cast this year giving more talented students the opportunity to share their talents with the audience. Ella is played by Camilla Munaco and Sara Avery. Madame (Stepmother) is played by both Emily Byrd and Nina Romzek, and Marie (Fairy Godmother) by Faith Knill and Emily Macks. Additional leads include Alex Cousins as Prince Topher, Gaby Bendtsen as Gabrielle, Kaitlyn Wacker as Charlotte, Francesco Fregoli as Jean Michael, John Kenny as Sebastian, and Rowland Scheessele as Lord Pinkleton.

Over the last several years, Notre Dame Prep has continued to make their mark in the high school musical arena and have outgrown their facilities as well as hired a producer to oversee their projects. 

“We continue to attract talent that rivals the big public schools in the area that has been known for its professional caliber shows for years,” said producer Gifford, who graduated from Notre Dame in 2002.

Choreographer Kaufmann said the show calls for a ballroom scene with waltzing and a gavotte. “I worked with our costumer, Jurgita Bendtsen, and requested big dresses with tulle and petticoats. She created full ball gowns from scratch. The students feel like they have stepped back in time when they put them on.”

Director Fazzini said that he loves a great love story. 

“Rogers and Hammerstein created the most romantic music that everyone is sure to love,” he said. “The sets, costumes and talented students are going to blow you away and our relationship with Avondale High School makes it all possible.”

The show take place Thursday through Saturday, November 16-18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 19, at 4 p.m. at the Avondale High School Performing Arts Center, 2800 Waukegan St., Auburn Hills, MI 48326.

Tickets are available at and remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

There will be a Princess “Meet and Greet” after each show. Children are encouraged to wear prince and princess costumes!

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at