Following a contentious presidential campaign, “Cinderella,” with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, may well be a suitable antidote for those weary of post- election upheaval. Featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, the 2013 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical will be presented at Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University, November 15 – 20.
In this version of the classic fairy tale which centers on a chambermaid who transforms into a princess, all the familiar elements, including the glass slippers, the pumpkin and the lavish ball, are all still present. There are some unexpected ones as well, such as a Cinderella who is an independent spirit, no one’s victim and determined to live her life spreading kindness, compassion and forgiveness.
Playing the title role is Cottage Grove, Wisconsin native Tatayana Lubov, a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with a BFA in musical theater. I caught up with her recently by phone from Baltimore, a stop on the “Cinderella” company’s 72-city tour that began in early October and ends in late June of 2017.
Lubov who enjoys traveling says “The touring life is about what I expected it to be. It is really fun, plus the cast and crew are really sweet and talented people so I really feel lucky to be where I am.”
As far as what makes the show fresh, Lubov says. “It’s not the Disney version which a lot of people confuse it with. It’s based on the 1957 movie that starred Julie Andrews but we call it a classic with a modern twist. All the characters have more depth. There is a lot more about the Prince, his back story and how he discovers himself. My favorite twist is the fact that Ella is a strong character and even politically involved with what is happening in the kingdom. She is much more than a princess waiting in her tower to be rescued. She’s a lot more modern.”
Lubov says that audiences so far have been very responsive to the show which is very witty and filled with contemporary references and adds that “It’s really well written for audience members of all ages.”
When asked how she enjoys singing the Rodgers and Hammerstein score Luvob stated that “It’s really beautiful music and fits well with my voice. I was classically trained growing up so I do a lot of mixing with my voice. It’s a combination of head voice and belting—the healthiest way to sing—especially when you are doing shows consecutively for so long. I am really happy with the score and the songs that I get to do.”
After the tour is over Lubov thinks that she’ll return to New York but says she is not sure what is next. Nor could she say what her long term goal is. “A lot of people would say ‘to be on Broadway’ which is a common thing for a performer to say but I am still trying to figure that out. In the meantime, the tour is a good test run for me to see what my stamina is for performing for a long period of time.” says Lubov.
Does she have illusions about being in the spotlight and does she feel grounded? “I think because I grew up with a musical family I had the right amount of support that I needed. My dad is composer/arranger in Madison and my mom was my choir teacher so we’ve been doing musicals for as long as I can remember.” she insists.
Regarding what audiences can expect to take away from “Cinderella” Lubov says “The message that I like best and think is very fitting with the times is that you should be kind and respectful to everyone, no matter their status, age or gender. Because that’s something that Cinderella does throughout the whole show and how she tries to treat everyone. That’s really important.”
Tickets for “Cinderella” are now on sale and available at Clowes Memorial Hall, The Old National Centre ticket office, online at BroadwayinIndianapolis.com or by phone at 1-800-982-2787. Groups of ten or more can book now by calling 1 (317) 832-7460 x 103.