*Producers Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman and Stephen Kocis in association with Center Theatre Group have waved their magical wand resulting in an enchanting new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella which opened on Broadway Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway at 53rd St.) followed by a glamorous Opening Night gala party at New York’s Gotham Hall in Herald Square.
Written for television in 1957 by the legendary musical theatre duo Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein, this delightful production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella marks the Broadway premiere for the much-loved romantic musical whose fame has grown to iconic proportions. The sassy as ever hit musical boasts music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II.
The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw who has been knighted the new Lord of Broadway; Josh Rhodes’ regal choreography makes him the new Prince of Movement. Adding to this royal court are Knights David Chase (music adaptation, supervision and arrangements) and Andy Einhorn (music director and conductor).
Leading the cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella are Laura Osnes as Cinderella and Santino Fontana as the Prince, along with Tony winner Victoria Clark as fairy godmother Marie, Tony winner Harriet Harris as Madame, Cinderella’s stepmother, Ann Harada as stepsister Charlotte, Marla Mindelle as stepsister Gabrielle, Peter Bartlett as Sebastian, Prince Topher’s mentor and Lord Chancellor, Greg Hildreth as the rebel Jean-Michel, and Phumzile Sojola as Lord Pinkleton. The South African native spoke of how thrilled he was to be in the play. “So delighted to join this cast. Thanks to my teachers, friends and family for everything,” Sojola said.
Beane’s book for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella offers a new romantic twist on the ultimate makeover story of a maid-turned-princess, mixing fresh comedy and wit with the beloved tale’s classic elements — the pumpkin, glass slipper, masked ball and more.
As the story goes: The smart and beautiful young Ella lives in the care of her wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and Madame’s two daughters, Charlotte and Gabrielle. Ella’s only friends in the world are the animals in the woods, “crazy Marie” and the revolutionary student Jean-Michel. Meanwhile in another part of the kingdom, Prince Topher is trying to find himself and learn his place in the kingdom. When his scheming advisor Sebastian suggests throwing a ball so the Prince could meet potential brides, Ella and Topher’s different worlds come together.
In addition to musical numbers from the original score — including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” — this Cinderella will include four additional songs from the Rodgers + Hammerstein “trunk.”
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella boasts a production team with numerous Tony Awards and nominations to their credit: Anna Louizos (scenic design); William Ivey Long (costume design); Ken Posner (lighting design); and Nevin Steinberg (sound design). In addition, Stuart Weitzman has designed the glass slipper being worn and his one-of-a-kind creation made its dazzling debut in the musical.
Members of the ensemble include Jill Abramovitz, Kristine Bendul, Drew Franklin, Heidi Giberson, Stephanie Gibson, Shonica Gooden, Kendal Hartse, Robert Hartwell, Laura Irion, Adam Jepsen, Andy Jones, Andy Mills, Linda Mugleston, Alessa Neeck, Peter Nelson, Nick Spangler, Kristin Tucker, Cody Williams, Branch Woodman and Kevin Worley.
*Laura Smalls brought her A-game to her sophisticated “Symmetry” show
Designer Laura Smalls’ “Symmetry” collection presented during Fall/Winter 2013 Fashion Week at the sleek Essex House on Central Park South, Wednesday, February 13, 2013 was just what the doctor ordered for fashionistas who like their ladylike fashions straight up with lots of flair and equilibrium. Just like Justin Timberlake brought “sexy” back, Smalls brought noble fashionability back with touches of class, dash and bedazzlement.
The “Symmetry” show which was inspired by the graphic works of artist Sonia Delaunay amazed the standing room only crowd. The collection featured both rounded and angular shapes in swank patterns, spectacular color, stunning print work and jaw-dropping metallic creations resulting in a romantic ambiance
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.