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The Last Night - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

The closing of a show is usually a bittersweet moment. But this one was different - there really was nothing bitter here. For the cast, orchestra and crew, this ride had been a blast. And although show business in prone to hyperbole, with good faces so often placed on less than good moments, these were genuine feelings. The sense was gratitude. It had been a great place to work for two years, and everyone in the building – cast, orchestra, and the crew – enjoyed each other. They loved the show, and were honored to be part of it. And how can you not love a show where a stagehand keeps a running log of how many times the actor playing the Prince catches the shoe that one of the characters throws off stage at each performance? (Three categories: caught, missed, and blocked. Blocked by whom? Perhaps some jealous someone not part of the fun…?)

Laura Osnes and Keke Palmer

Flash forward to December, 2012. Following several reading and workshops, the hip, purple-postered, modern tagged (“Glass slippers are so back”) and empowered version goes into rehearsal. Previews begin at the end of January, 2013. We all get a first look at Anna Louizas’ clever stage-filling but never overpowering sets, Kenny Posner’s miraculous lighting, and William Ivey Long’s ‘parade through historical notions of fairy tales made entirely original’ costumes. And we revel in the cast, every one diving into his or her role with relish, mischievousness, honesty, and passion. And audiences start to fall for Cinderella. Little girls with gowns and tiaras, parents getting caught up more than they thought they would, out of towners hanging on to a story they knew they would understand – and more surprising, perhaps, die-hard theater fans who are swept away by the genuine emotion and theatricality of the kind of show that Broadway simply does best.

Flash forward again to January 3, 2015. The planned closing, designed with the hope that it would go out with a holiday bang. As Charlotte says in a line from the script, “Good call there!” The grosses rose to Wicked/Lion King/Book of Mormon levels, as fans came back for the 20-something time, or just got to it in the nick of time. The performances on stage had been impeccably maintained, so the dancing was crisp, the humor sharp edged, and the music was glorious. It felt very much like a beginning, not an end. And with Broadway as the launching pad, this modern Cinderella is indeed beginning her long journey around the globe. The U.S. tour has already hit ten cities, and it doing blockbuster business. Plans are being discussed for other productions, even venturing into the world of “panto” where they have pre-conceived notions of how Cinderella is to behave. They wait to be surprised.

Producer Robyn Goodman giving the closing night curtain speech with the cast of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Photo Credits: (Top - Monica Simoes; Bottom - Ted Chapin)

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When is this version of the show going to be available for licensing?
Posted by Nile C. Kinnick High School on Sep 9, 2017
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I am also very curious to know when this show will be available. I know it is currently on tour, but we are not looking to do it until 2019.
Posted by Theatre Cedar Rapids on Nov 14, 2017
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