Film and TV

Melissa Benoist: Before Supergirl, She Was Cinderella (and More) in Littleton

Last night, American television viewers got a chance to see the debut of CBS's Supergirl — the first major network series built around a female superhero since Wonder Woman, which debuted way back in 1975.

The initial episode eschewed the gloom of The Dark Knight and other recent cinematic depictions of caped avengers in favor of a bright, earnest and cheerful tone reminiscent of The Flash, a CW favorite also overseen by producer Greg Berlanti, albeit with a considerably higher effects budget.

At the center of it all? Melissa Benoist — an Arapahoe High School grad whom Littleton theater-goers have been watching for years.

We highlighted Benoist's Colorado roots back in 2012, after she was cast in Glee, sharing, among other items, a video of her singing at her AHS senior recital:

But Benoist didn't leap directly from high school warbler to this....

In between, she became a frequent performer at Littleton's Town Hall Arts Center, whose website features shots of Benoist in 2006 productions of Bye Bye Birdie and Cinderella, as well as 2007's Footloose.

Of course, she had the major female roles in each, setting the stage for her quick Hollywood ascent.

Will she keep flying high? The ratings will tell that tale, but early signs are positive. Note the headline of a Vox review of the first Supergirl ep: "This Is the Start of Something Great."

Check out a gallery of photos from Benoist's days on the Littleton stage, courtesy of Town Hall Arts Center.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts