‘Cinderella’ message resonates with the times

November 18, 2016

Cinderella,” the musical based on the 1957 television broadcast starring Julie Andrews, with music by the incomparable Rodgers & Hammerstein,  has a fresh new face. It is now playing at Clowes Memorial Hall through Sunday, Nov. 20. I  attended the national touring company production, presented by Broadway in Indianapolis. Wednesday.

Writer Douglas Carter Beane has maintained the story about the poor, pitiful chambermaid who is transformed into a ravishing princess but in this version Cinderella is no one’s victim. In fact she is a spunky feminist. And  instead of the Prince rescuing her, she helps him discover who himself so he can come into is own, as she spreads her message about kindness, forgiveness and compassion.

Tatayna Luvov & Hayden Stanes

Tatayna Luvov & Hayden Stanes in “Cinderella” –  Courtesy of Carol Rosegg. Used by permission.

Tatayana Lubov turned in a fine vocal and dramatic performance as the empowered young woman who, though abused by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters manages, to turn the other cheek and remain positive despite her desperate conditions. Lubov’s rendition of “In My Own Little Corner,” sung as her character dreams of going to the Prince’s ball, was a highlight of the show.

Hayden Stanes, who played Prince Topher, stood out. Tall in stature, Stanes height certainly made him noticeable but his strong performance as the naive and guileless price, sheltered from the world, made him more than believable. Stanes duet of “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful”  with Lubov was simply divine.

The “Cinderella” script is replete with contemporary dialogue and snappy one-liners, making it idea for the comic talents of Sarah Primmer as Cinderella’s mean stepmother, and Mimi Robinson and Joanna Johnson  who played, respectively, her stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte. All three actors excelled in their  delivery and timing.

The show’s sets,  props and  lighting are all that one would expect in a fairy tale filled with magic and whimsy. As far as its lavish costumes, there are some quick changes, or shall I say, illusions, which will  make you wonder “Now, how did they do that?”

What struck me during the intermission were the number of little girls in attendance, wearing Cinderella gowns and tiaras.  It occurred to me that maybe this version of “Cinderella,” with its positive message for children, would leave these same little girls with more than simple fantasy, but also provide them with a liberated role model they could emulate in real life.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo: Julie Curry

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Indy Style.

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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