Kaelikat and I went to National Theater yesterday to see Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
. At least, that was what I was expecting. But while the music was mostly familiar, the plot and characters have been massively updated for modern sensibilities. The show now includes a prince who wants to be more and better than he is, a revolutionary suitor to one of the stepsisters, and a stronger ending for everyone. It retained the sweetness of the original while allowing much more agency for Cinderella, the stepsisters, and Prince Topher.
In order to support the expanded plot, there is one new musical number “Now Is the Time,” which allowed for a contradictory duet more reminiscent of Les Miserables
. In support of the nascent peasant revolution, the chorus had more purpose than just filler. And providing both a foundation for the song "In My Own Little Corner" and a reference point later, there is the introduction of a Modern World History book as a prop throughout the show. The dialog was assuredly modern, including such statements as "creeeeeepy" and "no, I'm good!" and helped keep the kids in the audience following along. I was tickled by the joke during the wedding scene, though it might have confused a few people.
The set was easy to follow, and the special effects were kept to a bare minimum. The best part of the show - especially for the children in the audience - was the repeated, amazing
, on-stage quick-change costume changes, no concealing mist required. To a child's eyes, they really were magical. The fairy godmother (Liz McCartney) had a stellar voice, and Kaitlyn Davidson nailed a sweet and emotive Cinderella.
I recommend it!https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/cinderella-being-what-it-wants-to-be/2015/11/19/d030ca06-8ee5-11e5-acff-673ae92ddd2b_story.html