Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney
Rehearsals have begun at Opera Australia’s Sydney headquarters, and the countdown is on to the much anticipated Australian premiere of the Tony® Award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. One of the most beautiful and beloved musicals of all time. Cinderella will open at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 20 May, with seasons at QPAC, Brisbane from 5 August and the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 23 October.
Leading the cast of this lavish production is 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; and Tina Bursill (TV’s Doctor Doctor, Wentworth) as Madame, Ella’s stepmother, in Melbourne and Sydney. Todd McKenney (The Boy From Oz, Shrek) plays the Lord Chancellor, Sebastian, during the Melbourne season, while Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music) takes over as Sebastian in Brisbane and Sydney.
Matilda Moran (Titanic: the Musical, Les Misérables) and Bianca Bruce (In the Heights, Memphis the Musical) play Ella’s stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte. Daniel Belle (My Fair Lady, Les Misérables) is 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 are William Brougham, Danielle Evrat, Luke Haberecht, Matthew Jenson, Lauren Jimmieson, Leah Lim, Kassie Martin, 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.
Producers Lyndon Terracini for Opera Australia and John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia are delighted to finally bring this wonderful production to the Australian stage. “We’re so excited that rehearsals are underway in Sydney 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 thrilled with our outstanding cast led by Shubshri and Ainsley, 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!”
NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres was proud to see Sydney selected as the home base for rehearsals. “I am delighted that Sydney is hosting rehearsals for Cinderella and this acclaimed production is coming to life right here in the Harbour City. Finishing touches are being put on costumes at Opera Australia’s headquarters and the cast are gathering for the first time at rehearsal studios in Ultimo to create this incredible production for Australian audiences, highlighting Sydney’s position as a hub for arts and culture. The NSW Government is committed to investing in world-class productions like Cinderella to deliver on our goal of becoming the premier visitor economy in the Asia Pacific.”
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 savvy and 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?
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a romantic and exciting experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream.