A Not So Common \Cinderella

This is not how Michael Camelo pictured himself spending the summer.

He thought he would be relaxing at the beach.

Not wearing a dress. And high heels. And a wig. And a hat with flowers on it.

Still, when he learned that the Not So Common Players' production of Cinderella might cast men as the stepsisters, he was intrigued.

Camelo figured he wasn't the prince type. He didn't think there were any other roles in the play for him. But being a stepsister? That might be fun.

So, putting his thoughts of sand and sun on hold, he tried out alongside Justin MacFarlane, with whom Camelo had recently worked in "Anyone Can Whistle," for the part of a stepsister.

There was instant chemistry. In fact, Camelo tried out the first time by himself and called it "funny, but not great."

But when he and MacFarlane were on stage together, "It was not easy to keep a straight face," MacFarlane said.

"It was so funny that even I couldn't stop laughing," Camelo agreed.

And that's how he came to trade his swimsuit for women's formal wear. Not So Common Players will stage "Cinderella" from July 15 to 24, with men playing the stepsisters for a little comic relief. Otherwise, the production is pretty true to the original version, which tells the story of a girl who is tasked with all kinds of dreadful chores under the orders of her stepmother and stepsisters. Cinderella's fortunes change one night when the king and queen host a ball for their son, who makes a connection with Cinderella.

The play is a favorite of director Kara A. DiCaterino, who grew up watching not only the animated Disney version but the TV movie starring Lesley Ann Warren. DiCaterino even spent some time working at Disney World, where she got to see Cinderella everyday.

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