RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S “CINDERELLA”–TOURING COMPANY REVIEW   Leave a comment

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The stars of the “Cinderella” touring company that opened at the Broward Center for the performing Arts, and which will play there until Christmas Day, are Leslie Jackson as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother aka Crazy Marie, the ‘magic’ of the stage and the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Ms. Jackson has a soaring voice that touches everyone whether she is singing her beautiful solo “There’s Music in You” or duets with Cinderella like “Impossible/It’s Possible”. She brightens up the stage every moment she is on it.

“Cinderella” has one of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s most underrated scores including the two songs mentioned above, the love songs “10 Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful”  along with comedic songs like “Stepsister’s Lament” and a roaring village song “The Prince Is Giving a Ball. Many of the songs will stay with you long after hearing them.

On the stage is some of the magic that live theatre is known for such as making a pumpkin into a coach, mice into horses, a fox and a raccoon into a footman (Brian Liebson) and driver (Arnie Rodriguez) but the most magical moments are when the Fairy Godmother twirls and goes from rags to a beautiful gown only to be outdone by Cinderella who does it at least three times. Though you may figure out how some of it is done you will still be in awe of how the rest is accomplished.

Tatyana Lubov, as Cinderella, has a beautiful voice, does a fine acting job and is a good dancer except when she is dancing with the Prince, almost as if she doesn’t have the confidence in him as a partner though their duets are perfect. Hayden Stanes is a tall, towering Prince Topher with a strong singing voice who takes awhile to get into the role but by the second act is the Prince you wish for Cinderella. Charlotte, played by Joanna Johnson, and Gabrielle, played by Mimi Robinson, as Cinderella’s stepsisters bring a lot of humor to their roles and songs. The latter is courted by Jean-Michel, played by Chris Woods, and is the ‘rebel rouser’ opposing Sebastian, played by Ryan M. Hunt, the Prince’s adviser. Sarah Primmer is the wicked stepmother who really isn’t that wicked and Vincent B. Davis as Lord Pinkleton, as Sebastian’s herald, gives strong support and gets one of the biggest laughs in the show. 

The ensembles handles the choreography by Lee Wilkins, the direction by Gina Rattan, and wear the award winning costumes designed by William Ivey Long, with flair and professionalism.

Douglas Carter Beane revised the original book by Hammerstein including many modern day politics references which neither take away nor add to the fairy tale story loved by all.

Not one to give any spoilers I would like to give a big hand to whoever came up with how Cinderella ‘loses’ her glass slipper!

The magic and the music make this “Cinderella” and excellent holiday choice as a gift or, for that matter, anytime.

Running time is 2 hours and 10 minutes with a 20 minute intermission.

The next show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale will be “Cabaret” January 10-22.

 

                       

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Posted December 14, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, THEATRE, THEATRE REVIEW

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