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RSVP / ORANGE COUNTY : After the Big Ball, Cinderella and Friends Join Dance Fans at Diva

June 15, 1995|KATHRYN BOLD and * ONCE UPON A TIME and The million-dollar production of "Cinderella" is sweet, shallow and a little cheap, says Martin Bernheimer. F1

Small wonder that guests attending the cast party for the Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of "Cinderella" kept checking their watches: It was nearing midnight, and they still hadn't seen the star.

Finally, as the clock struck 11:15, Cinderella arrived--Louise Nadeau, the dancer who delighted the audience at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa on Tuesday. Even without her glass slippers and glittering gown, Nadeau charmed the 200 party-goers at Diva restaurant.

Fairy Tale Role

Nadeau, wearing a flowing black dress, beamed as she entered the party.

"I had so much fun--there was something magical about tonight," Nadeau said.

"It's a story everyone has grown up with as a child. Everyone wants to be Cinderella."

The role was a departure for Nadeau, who recently portrayed Juliet in the Seattle-basedballet company's production of "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet."

Nadeau and other dancers and artists in the ballet company spent the evening mingling with center supporters and sampling Diva fare, including chicken with sweet garlic sauce and blackened catfish.

Thumbs Up for Ballet

Guests were full of praise for the production.

"It was a perfect ballet--the kind I remember as a little girl," said Helen Shanbrom, a center supporter. She attended the ballet with her husband, Edward, and daughter, Susan Krabbe.

"The ballet was beautiful; the costumes were gorgeous, and it had a happy ending," Helen Shanbrom said.

Molly Lynch, artistic director of Ballet Pacifica, Orange County's dance company, was also impressed with the production.

"It was beautifully put-together--a magic evening," she said. Lynch enjoyed the show's choreography, dancing and sets--especially Cinderella's 23-foot-long carriage and painted horse that took two crew members more than four months to build. "Wouldn't everybody like to ride in that coach?" she asked.

Guests at Diva included Susan Bortman, chairwoman of the Pacific Northwest Ballet board of directors; Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, the company's artistic directors; Tom Tomlinson, center president and chief operating officer; Harold and Hinda Beral; Harry and Shari Esayian; Frank and Marilyn Lynch; Thomas and Marilyn Nielsen; Irving and Julia Rappaport; George Schreyer; Richard and Elaine Steinhoff; Bonne Wheeler, and Al Whitzig.

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