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Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella

Glass slippers and pumpkin carriages are coming to Brisbane, with the Broadway production dancing into the QPAC Lyric Theatre from August.
By Sarah Ward
April 22, 2022
By Sarah Ward
April 22, 2022

Brisbane theatre, musical and fairytale fans, one of your wishes is about to come true — and yes, it involves a fairy godmother. Finally coming to Australia in 2022 after the pandemic delayed its planned 2021 run, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway musical version of Cinderella is heading our way. Get ready for glass slippers and pumpkin carriages to take over the town, with the show dancing its way into QPAC's Lyric Theatre from Friday, August 5.

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 making the jump Down Under. 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.

Top image: Jeff Busby.

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