Lyndon Terracini for Opera Australia and John Frost for Crossroads Live today announced that the Tony® Award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella will have its Australian Premiere at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 20 May next year, with a season at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 23 October.
Leading the cast of this lavish production will be Shubshri Kandiah (Aladdin, Fangirls) as Ella (Cinderella); Ainsley Melham (Merrily We Roll Along, Aladdin) as Prince Topher; Silvie Paladino (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables) as Marie, the Fairy Godmother; Tina Bursill (TV’s Doctor Doctor, Wentworth) as Madame, Ella’s stepmother, and Todd McKenney (The Boy From Oz, Shrek) as the Lord Chancellor, Sebastian.
Daniel Belle (My Fair Lady, Les Misérables) will play Lord Pinkleton, the second-in-command in the Royal household, while Josh Gardiner (Billy Elliot, Rent) is Jean-Michel, the poor revolutionary who is in love with Gabrielle. Completing the cast will be William Brougham, Mackenzie Dunn, Danielle Evrat, Luke Haberecht, Matthew Jenson, Lauren Jimmieson, Leah Lim, Rubin Matters, Joshua Russell, Greta Sherriff, Lewis Shilvock, Suzanne Steele, Tom Struik, Daniel Szesiong Todd, Alexis van Maanen, Dean Vince, Daniel Wijngaarden, Erica Wild and Emily Wood.
John Frost and Lyndon Terracini are delighted to finally bring to the Australian stage one of the most beautiful musicals of all time. “We’re so excited to announce the dates for the Premiere of this Broadway favourite. Cinderella is one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s greatest scores and this production with beautiful orchestrations, magnificent costumes and sets, jaw-dropping transformations, and all the moments you love from the classic story, will have audiences clamouring for more.
“We’re also thrilled with our outstanding cast led by Shubshri, Ainsley, Silvie, Tina, and Todd, and know that they are going to relish bringing this much-loved story to life. Audiences will be enchanted by this glorious and uplifting musical. Rush to get a ticket!”
With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic elements – the glass slippers, pumpkin, a beautiful masked ball, and more – along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. A spirited young woman with a savvy soul, she not only fights for her own dreams but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realise his dreams too.
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most popular titles, Cinderella was written for television, debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance. More than 100 million viewers saw the broadcast, more people than any other program in the history of television at the time. Cinderella was re-made for television in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren in
The title role, Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon as the King and Queen, and Celeste Holm as the Fairy Godmother. A further television remake followed in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother, Whoopi Goldberg as the Queen, and Jason Alexander as Lionel.
The stage version of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella made its long-awaited Broadway debut in January 2013, featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Mark Brokaw, and it ran for two years. Mr. Beane’s book blends masterfully with the musical’s cherished score, with songs including In My Own Little Corner, Impossible/It’s Possible, Ten Minutes Ago, and Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?
I had the pleasure of chatting with leading lady Shubshri Kandiah about playing this iconic role.
1. Congratulations on landing the lead role in Cinderella, how excited are you to bring this story to the stage?
It’s so exciting to be getting back on stage after a really tough couple of years. And to be coming back to the theatre with a beautiful classic story we all know and love will make for a perfect night at the theatre.
And I think the messages in this story, about love and kindness, are exactly what we need to hear right now.
2. What does it mean to you to pay the iconic role of Cinderella? And what message would you like young girls to get from this production and from your role?
Cinderella in the Rodgers and Hammerstein version is quite different from how I knew her, growing up watching the animated film.
In this version, we see her as a woman filled with insecurity but also full of kindness, joy, and strength.
She is not the damsel in distress, but a woman fully in control of her own destiny. I think it’s so wonderful for young people to see a character who shows those insecurities but comes to realise that she is worthy and she has the power to create everything she’s dreamed of.
3. How does this production stand out from previous productions?
What’s wonderful about this version of Cinderella is that there is – truly – something in the show for everyone: romance, magic, comedy, lavish costumes, and sets, complemented by a beautiful score by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
It’s a version of the story that’s a really refreshing take on a classic tale, fit for today’s audience. In saying that though, it’s still filled with all things we love about the story: the pumpkin carriage, the glass slipper, and of course the fairy godmother and a little bit of magic. It is sure to be a very fun night at the theatre!
4. What message do you hope audiences leave the production with?
I hope audiences leave the production knowing the value and importance of kindness. I hope they leave knowing that true beauty comes from the inside. And I hope they leave feeling they have the power to create their own destiny and make their “impossible” come true.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a romantic and exciting experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream. Waitlist now to be the first to buy tickets at www.cinderellamusical.com.au.