Cinderella was one of the first movies I remember, but I also remember a version of Cinderella, rented on Betamax (remember those?) from a local video store that wasn’t the Disney version, but the Rodgers and Hammerstein version, this one with Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella. The first Cinderella on television was Julie Andrews, and in 1997, Brandy starred in a television remake as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. The latest revival, opened on Broadway in 2013, won William Ivey Long a Tony award for costume design, closed on Broadway on January 3 and is now touring around the country. In this production, stars included Laura Osnes, Paige Faur, Carly Rae Jepson, Fran Drescher and eventually transitioned into a multicultural cast, starring Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd, and eventually Real Housewife Nene Leakes.
Cinderella on Broadway: Ella
Ella’s costumes are the stuff of fairy princesses. Sure, she starts off in rags, but Long’s costumes transform her from ragamuffin to princess seemingly magically. That’s the magic of theater, right? Costume designers (and just plain wardrobe geeks) enjoy watching closely to figure out how it’s done. These costumes are reversible, with a lot of tucking (and wigs!) transforming the housemaid into a princess. If you see the show on tour, ignore the throwing up of the rags (the beginning of the second transformation) so you can figure out how the quick change is achieved!
Cinderella on Broadway: The Evil Stepmother
What can we say? Sometimes being the villain can be more fun. I love the bright color schemes of the Evil Stepmother and her daughters. Ella is in either muted browns or white and gold, and these gaudy, bright costumes are a great contrast. We love their elaborate wigs, extensive corsetry and millinery as well, leaving the effect of each sister (and their monther) as gaudier than the next.
How fun are these costumes? Paired with the classic story, music, and acting, we’ll miss it on Broadway, but it will be enjoyed by others all over the country over the next few months.