Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #233
…after fifteen afternoon and evening performances of the play, A Kiss For Cinderella, fate intervenes when laryngitis strikes the title character, meaning Abigail Ferrell is pressed into action…
At the same time, bad things happen to good people. Take Cinderella, for instance. What did she do that was so wrong? Her mother died and her father, the baron, marries a social climbing hag with two insecure and demanding daughters. Is it her fault that her father spinelessly ignores the fact his own daughter is dominated and subjugated, left to obey the whims of virtual strangers? Of course it isn’t, but C.S. Evan’s story is a fairy tale, improbable in its cruelty and enchanting in its ending.
And after fifteen afternoon and evening performances of the play, A Kiss For Cinderella, fate intervenes when laryngitis strikes the title character, meaning Abigail Ferrell is pressed into action; poised to ride in a pumpkin carriage, with a 12 o’clock midnight curfew. She has been waiting in the wings low these twenty days, watching Barrie’s actors work at their craft, memorizing all their moves and lines for just an occasion as this.
“You will do just fine, lassie,” Barrie assures, who secretly had hoped she would get the opportunity to get more than the one scheduled understudy performance onstage. He has come to know his late cousin’s daughter/daughter-in-law well, taken with her charming demeanor and graceful abidance — in a fatherly way, with an eye to missing her help when he returns to Scotland. There is an inexplicable bonding of people of the theater, perhaps due in part of doing the same thing night after night, from the first performance to the last, with small differences known only to those onstage and behind the scenes. “I can see how beautiful you are going to be in Cinderella’s gown! You and Matthew will make a charming couple, absolutely brightening the stage.”
“Thank you for the kind words Sir James, but it is only make-believe… imagine me playing the part of a girl in her teens.”
That last line is heard in passing by Agnes Ferrell, who is looking forward to abusing Abbey, as is her right as cruel step-sister, Euphronia. “Scrub the floors, get water from the well, feed the chickens, and press my green jersey dress,” she orders in a mocking tone. Her resentment of Abbey has faded over the years, coinciding with a more reasonable aligning of her love for her brother, likely tempered by the ongoing courtship of her by Gadsden County Sheriff Cyril Odz.
“Why do you hate me so, Euphronia? I work my fingers to the bone, wear your tattered hand-me-downs and you still treat me so much dirt beneath your feet.”
Abbey’s ad-lib to Agnes’ exaggerated ordering does not go unnoticed. “That is not one of your lines, Abigail, but I do believe it would be a good addition. I will find the right spot for it before the next performance,” states the producer/director/playwright, who is always open to spontaneity, fully aware that certain of the audience are repeat patrons and they enjoy subtle changes in the script.