A perfect fit for the holiday season.
– review of the show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. (Ft. Lauderdale).
I’m sure every little girl at one time or another wanted to be Cinderella. Dreaming of the magical ball, carriage and horses, and above all, a handsome prince to take them away. Growing up we’ve always been taught the magic and wonder fairy tales hold. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s version of this classic tale originally broadcast in 1957 with Julie Andrews as its star on CBS solidified the notion of ‘happily ever after.’ Disney took it a step further with its animated classic capturing the hearts of millions across the globe. This evening we are enchanted with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s version at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Judging by all the little Cinderella’s in the audience (dressed wonderfully to fill the part) it was evident this show is for all ages.
The classic has been adapted for the 21st Century with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, updating the fairy tale with new sub-plots, all the while keeping the original spark of the story we all know. A Prince who falls in love with our heroine, the glass slipper (perhaps the reason women fall in love with shoes?), a fairy Godmother, this new refreshed version has it all.
Unchanged is Ella and her miserable existence under a wicked stepmother and uncaring catty stepsisters. Dreaming of escaping her drab life and finding love, her prayers are answered by her fairy Godmother who casts a spell, turning her into a princess. The only condition is she must return before midnight or face the consequences. Leaving the grand ball just as the clock strikes 12, she hurries home leaving her Prince baffled and in a quest to find his beloved. Enchanted he scours the countryside determined to find his Cinderella. Tatyana Lubov as Cinderella is truly a wonder as she effortlessly moves from scene to scene. First, as a subversive maid to a Princess, Tatyana glows with amazing skill and beautifully touching voice. She is spirited and more than just another pretty face. She is a contemporary woman with a heart of gold. Hayden Stanes as Prince Topher is quite the looker himself. Tall, strong, resilient, he plays his part to a T as he seeks his true love. As it turns out, our Prince has lessons of his own to learn. With the help of Cinderella, he opens his eyes and world to his own dreams and aspirations. Leslie Jackson as Marie, The Fairy Godmother, Sarah Primmer as Madame, Ella’s wicked stepmother, Vincent Davis as Lord Pinkleton, Joanna Johnson as Charlotte, Ryan M. Hunt as Sebastian, Mimi Robinson as Gabrielle and Chris Woods as Jean-Michele round out the cast in the most wonderful way. Each brings their own special spark to their roles which just adds to the wonder of the evening.
The music is pure Rodgers & Hammerstein – opulent, regal, beautiful melodies fill the air. The songs include, In My Own Little Corner, Ten Minutes Ago, and Impossible/It’s Possible. The show itself is wondrously old-fashioned, sentimental, ironic, dynamic, funny, sincere, and a must for the entire family. Mark Brokaw’s Direction is perfect. Adding to the majesty Josh Rhodes (Choreography), Anna Louizos (Set Design), William Ivey Long (Costume Design), Ken Posner (Lighting Design), Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), David Chase (Music Adaptation, Supervision and Arrangements), Andy Einhorn (Music Director, Conductor) are all proof positive why Cinderella garnered nine Tony Nominations in 2013 and winner of the Best Costume Design Of A Musical the same year. This is truly an extravaganza on every level. If you’re looking for a show to take the entire family this holiday season, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is for you.
Get your tickets now. Show ends Christmas Day.