It was a regular Tuesday night in Atlanta, except for the line outside of the Fox Theatre doors. The doors opened, popcorn was bought and seats were filled. Little girls in their ball gowns sat anxiously, eyes glued at the magical forest on the stage. The lights went down, and she appeared in her tattered clothes; all eyes were on Cinderella.
Cinderella opened at the Fox Theatre on Nov. 3 and ran until Nov. 8. This update brought a slightly more modern light to Rodgers and Hammerstein classic; while Cinderella still maintained her kind charm, she swapped her subdued nature for a gutsier charm, especially when it came to her stepmother, Madame.
While one stepsister, Charlotte, was as mean and sarcastic as predicted, Gabrielle’s softer heart turned the tables on the stereotypical “evil stepsister” premise.
The biggest change from the classic story: the switch from the plot’s wickedness shining on the stepmother’s scheme of hiding the lost slipper to a more political debacle. Sebastian, the Prince’s aide, was stealing money and land from the poor, and Cinderella and her friend, another new character named Jean-Michelle, were heading the protest against him.
The Rodgers and Hammerstein version first aired on CBS in 1957 with Academy Award winner Julie Andrews filling the title role. The show was remade by CBS in 1965, starring Lesley Ann Warren. Nineties kids may remember the ABC version starring Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother in 1997.
With such huge names coming before her, Paige Fuere certainly had some large glass slippers to fill. Her voice, mimicking the classic Disney version of Cinderella, mixed with the charming Prince Topher’s, played by Andy Huntington Jones, in the Cinderella waltz “Ten Minutes Ago” brought alive the classic love story the audience yearned to see.
“Impossible,” sung by Cinderella and her fairy godmother, Marie, was the most eye-catching as the pumpkin changed into a glowing chariot and the mice turned into sparkling, white horses. When Cinderella’s dress changed from rags to a diamond, white ball gown, gasps came out of almost every mouth and cheers resounded through the theatre—the moment had arrived.
As the curtain closed on Cinderella and Prince Topher’s wedding, the audience stood and clapped, reveling in the classic love story coming true. The actors bowed and the theatre emptied, leaving a wave of magic among the audience.
Cinderella will continue its national tour until May 2016.