Rodgers and Hammerstein's Tony-Winning 'Cinderella' Musical Is Finally Coming to Australia in 2022

The Broadway production was meant to debut locally in 2021, but it'll now bring its glass slippers to both Sydney and Melbourne next year.
Sarah Ward
November 15, 2021

If glass slippers, pumpkin carriages and fairy godmothers were on your must-see theatre list for 2021, we have bad news: the Cinderella musical won't be bringing its magic to Australia this year. That was meant to be the case, but then lockdowns hit; however, in a supremely welcome development, the beloved Broadway show is now heading our way in 2022 instead.

First premiering in New York in 2013, this version of the adored fairy tale features music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a couple of the best-known names in musical theatre history. The pair actually wrote their songs for a 1957 television production, which starred a pre-Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music Julie Andrews. (If you've seen the 1997 TV movie with Brandy and Whitney Houston — which remade that original small-screen flick — then you've already seen a version based on Rodgers and Hammerstein's original efforts.)

Now, the Broadway production is finally making the jump Down Under, debuting locally at Melbourne's Regent Theatre from May 20, and then heading to the Sydney Lyric Theatre at The Star from October 23. The tour is a collaboration between Opera Australia and Crossroads Live, after the two organisations teamed up on The King and I, another Rodgers and Hammerstein hit — but this time they're all about gleaming footwear and masked balls.

Don't expect the exact same story you're used to, though — as you read as a kid, and saw in Disney's classic animated film and its live-action remake. Here, Cinderella is a contemporary figure, but living in a fairytale setting. While she's still transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, the tale has been given a firmly modern spin.

Shubshri Kandiah (Aladdin, Fangirls) will play Ella, Ainsley Melham (Merrily We Roll Along, Aladdin) has been cast Prince Topher and Silvie Paladino (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables) will sparkle as Marie, the Fairy Godmother. Also set to feature in the Australian production: Tina Bursill (Doctor Doctor, Wentworth) as Madame, Ella's stepmother, as well as Todd McKenney (The Boy From Oz, Shrek) as Sebastian, the Lord Chancellor.

The cast will be working with a production penned by playwright Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, Sister Act) based on Hammerstein's work — which was, of course, adapted from the fairy tale about a young woman dreaming of a better life.

The Broadway production was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won one, for Best Costume Design. In the US, Carly Rae Jepsen played Ella for a stint, while The Nanny's Fran Drescher also took on the role of Madame, Ella's stepmother, for a period.

If you're wondering how the musical works its magic, check out a clip from the original Broadway show below:

Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella will hit the stage at Melbourne's Regent Theatre from May 20, 2022, before heading to the Sydney Lyric Theatre at The Star from October 23, 2022. For further details, and for tickets — for Melbourne shows from November 29, and for Sydney's season from November 22 — head to the musical's website.

Images: Carol Rosegg.

Published on November 15, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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