By Alison Baumgartner
November 9-11, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved, Tony Award-winning musical Cinderella casts its spell on Northern Colorado with its hilarious, romantic and surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale.
Although it premiered on Broadway in 2013, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella has seen success on the small screen and in productions around the world for the last 50 years. In fact, Cinderella is the only musical created by Rodgers and Hammerstein that was written for television. The TV special starred Julie Andrews in the title role, and it was seen by over 100 million people — about 60% of the U.S. population at the time.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella was so beloved that in 1997, Walt Disney Productions released a remake starring Brandy as Cinderella. With such success, it seemed the Broadway stage would be a natural transition.
William Ivey Long, who won the Tony Award for his costumes, says that Cinderella is like a period piece. Long has designed 330 sumptuous period costumes for this production which is presented in Anna Louizos’ equally sumptuous forest-inspired setting. “The scale of this show is big, because it’s a grand fairytale,” says Louizos. “This is not story-theater. It’s a Broadway show.”
This revisionist telling of the traditional story features Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic songs with a cheeky new script by playwright Douglas Carter Beane.
The director says he was immediately taken by Douglas Carter Beane’s transformational approach to the material: “The first thing I thought was that Doug had done a fantastic job of taking the traditional story of Cinderella that everybody knows and keeping to the heart of it, but upending our expectations of who the characters were and how the story unraveled.”
Transformation is a big theme in Cinderella. Long has designed jaw-dropping costume changes in both acts, where Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother go from rags to ball gowns in the blink of an eye, right in front of the audience. How are these changes accomplished? Long won’t say: “I would have to kill you if I told you,” he laughs.
Louizos adds, she thinks this version of Cinderella is a fairy tale that will appeal to everyone: “We approached it as any other brand new musical. It’s not a children’s show; it’s a Broadway show that adults should be able to appreciate and enjoy and be entertained just as much as children would.”
Come see the lush production the Associated Press proclaimed “Pure magic!” and USA Today called “A dazzling delight for all ages!” Tickets start at $20 and are available at LCtix.com.