Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the first play I can remember attending as a very small child, so it holds a special place in my heart. The Broadway tour production of Cinderella, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, does not disappoint.
Cinderella might be the best production I’ve seen at Dallas Summer Musicals. Everything about this musical is pure magic. The story and the songs are all familiar, but the fairy tale is lively and fresh, with a dash of modernity, thanks to a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. This book introduces a political subplot, as the people of Prince Topher’s kingdom are being taken advantage of by his adviser, Sebastian, and it’s up to Cinderella, the revolutionary Jean-Michel, and sympathetic stepsister Gabrielle to help the Prince see what’s happening in his kingdom. Cinderella’s attendance at the ball helps set both this and her romance in motion – with a little help from a Fairy Godmother, of course.
The acting is sharp, witty, and wonderful; although the delivery is a bit over the top in the case of the stepmother, Madame, and stepsisters, Gabrielle and Charlotte, portrayed by Beth Glover, Kaitlyn Davidson, and Aymee Garcia, their melodrama plays well for laughs.
As Cinderella, Paige Faure shines – her singing voice is clear and lovely, but powerful, and she delightfully portrays the character’s earnest hopefulness and kindness. Andy Huntington Jones is – dare I say it? – charming as the Prince, and their romance is sweet. Kecia Lewis’ Fairy Godmother is another standout, and “Impossible” is one of the best numbers of the night.
The choreography is enchanting, the music is lush, the effects are great, but the highlight of the production is the costumes – in particular, the quick-change artistry that enables Cinderella to go from rags to ballgowns before your eyes. I’m still not entirely sure how it happened – it was amazing and had me wishing I could replay those scenes to figure out how it was done!
Cinderella is playing now the Music Hall at Fair Park and runs through June 21 before moving to the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth from June 23-28. Lovers of musical theatre and fairy tales: this is definitely one you don’t want to miss.
(Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary ticket to attend the show, and all thoughts are my own.)