If you’d told me last week that Tuesday night I would be sitting in a theater enjoying a musical performance of Cinderella, I’d probably have said, “Impossible!”
Do I look like a 6-year-old girl?
And yet there I was, sitting in row H, smiling and singing under my breath, completely taken in by the magical production of “Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” now playing at the Fox Theatre.
I guess there’s a 6-year-old girl in all of us.
Originally written for television by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics), the Broadway version currently on stage was adapted in 2013 with a new book by Douglas Carten Beane.
Of course you don’t have to be a 6-year-old girl to know the story of Cinderella, but this new version makes some changes here and there. Ella (Paige Faure) is still beset by her cruel stepmother (Beth Glover) along with stepsisters Gabrielle (Kaitlyn Davidson) and Charlotte (Aymee Garcia) — although this time Gabrielle is more sympathetic to Ella.
Elsewhere in the kingdom Prince Topher (Andy Jones) roams the land slaying dragons and giant insect-looking creatures. His chief adviser Lord Pinkleton (Antoine L. Smith) has decided it’s time for the prince to settle down, get married and take over as king. A ball is scheduled to find a suitable mate.
It looks like everyone’s going to have a ball except Ella until her Fairy Godmother (Kecia Lewis) shows up to provide suitable gown and transportation. The rest is fairy tale history, with some added filler about corrupt government officials and “power to the people” and whatnot.
With a tale as old as time and songs as old as 1957, “Cinderella” soars thanks to a talented cast, impressive set designs, lovely music and timeless songs like “In My Own Little Corner” and “Impossible.”
Applause also should go to the costume design and the seemingly magical (I don’t know how they did it) way in which Cinderella would go from rags to ball gown in the wink of an eye.
“Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” runs through Feb. 1 at the Fox Theatre. http://www.fabulousfox.com/