Out of all the fairytales made in the world, Cinderella captures everyone’s hearts. Its themes resonate with many people. Due to this, its story has endured time and different cultures. At its center, the familiar Cinderella narrative pushes forward a sense of hope, transformation, and transcendence of goodness over difficult experiences. We see a woman rise out from the rags forced into her by cruel people and hold her head up high throughout the process. Truthfully, there is something enthralling about a fairy godmother, glass slippers, and a sudden change in life for the better, and most people are smitten by how the story unfolds. The public appeal of Cinderella has spawned many of its iterations. Out of all the greatest, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein’s version is among the most popular. If you want to see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, catch the show at the Sarofim Hall this coming Holiday season.
“The splendor of a fairy tale and the escapism of a romance it unapologetically revels in the fun of it all.” – Times News
“The visual effects are dazzling…” – USA TODAY
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s adaptation of Cinderella is a transcendent masterpiece that has left an indelible mark on the musical theater world. Originally conceived as a television special in 1957, generations of viewers have since embraced this enthralling retelling of the classic tale, with its magical charm and unforgettable music that will showcase an empowering message.
The brilliant collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II made this remake a masterpiece. Both are titans in their respective fields; Rodgers worked as a legendary composer, and Hammerstein was an established writer. By the time they made this musical special, they had collaborated on many Broadway musicals and had a strong influence on each other’s works. They have created an art form that will not only stand the test of time but also redefine how viewers experience the magic of musical history in this project. As a result, they have created a score that has timeless music and quality and a lovely journey accompanied by the seamless weaving of narrative.
“The production’s touchstones are those thesps with outstanding voices.” – Variety
When it was completed in 1957, they were supported by CBS, and in a small studio, huge sets, the cast and crew and the orchestra fit together. To catch people’s attention, they cast a blossoming actress and performer for the lead role, Julie Andrews. Andrews was the lead of the modernized version of Cinderella, the Broadway smash hit My Fair Lady. She was perfect for the role. The musical aired live on March 31, 1957. It was a stratospheric success, viewed by all people who owned TVs during the time, which was around 100 million. It also skyrocketed the career of Andrews into Hollywood and Broadway superstardom.
In Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the opening lines of “The Prince is Giving a Ball” set the stage for a magical journey into a world where dreams can come true. Rodgers’ ability to create music in tune with the human spirit is on full display as the overture unfolds, revealing a musical atmosphere to guide us through the highs and lows of Cinderella’s transformative journey. The rich and evocative instrumentation adds to the emotional depth of the story, enveloping the audience in a sonic tapestry and revealing the rich experiences of the characters.
It is impossible to talk about Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella without delving into the magical transformation scene. It is iconic and is a peak fairytale fantasy to many people. Cinderella’s well-known dress change from the torn one she wore to a spectacular gown is always a visual feast that will be etched in the minds of the entire audience. Practical effects, along with the mesmerizing quality of the music, elevate this moment to theatricality. To many people, this moment is so much more than a fashion change. It is a manifestation of a dream coming true and the belief that good people are blessed. The musical might appear whimsical and simplistic, but its themes go beyond what is at face value.
“The score is excellent, balancing melodic romantic ballads, delightful comic songs, and rousing ensemble numbers.” – Times News
Romance is definitely a huge part of the musical; however, the deep strength of music, kindness, and being true to oneself are emphasized. At the center of it all, you see Cinderella hoping to escape the world she is in. This viscerally manifests a desire for a better life, which we all share and resonates with all ages. Also, there are parts wherein Cinderella defies the expectations people have of her. A prince indeed came to her rescue, but she is a true heroine with an unwavering belief in resilience, kindness, and goodness.
Beginning as a television staple, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has been translated into different forms of media. Each of its iterations brings a fresh perspective while retaining many of its key elements to stay true to the original. Ten years after the original became a legendary success, another version followed. This, too, was a hit. After more than 20 years, the 1997 Disney version came out. It starred Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Brandy Norwood as Cinderella, and Paolo Montalban as Prince Charming. This version was revolutionary for its diverse cast. Many young African-American and Asian American children looked up to it, and it stands out as a pop culture phenomenon to this day.
The Broadway version then came in 2013. It ran there for more than 700 performances. It was praised for its powerful adaptation of the classic to the stage and its casting of diverse personalities for the musical’s prominent roles. Among the most notable persons who played in the musical is Keke Palmer as Cinderella.
In conclusion, it is not foolish to say that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a triumph of musical television and theatre. It is a timeless tale that weaves together magic, music, and empowerment. From the brilliance of Rodgers’ melodies to the insightful lyrics of Hammerstein, every element of the musical contributes to its enduring appeal. As the glass slipper fits Cinderella perfectly, so does this musical fit seamlessly into the pantheon of timeless theatrical works, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who have experienced its magic.
The Prince’s ball is coming to the Sarofim Hall from December 5 to December 24. You can now get tickets to attend this spectacular musical. Bring the entire family!