Theatre Mirror Reviews - "CINDERELLA"

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Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Hanover Theatre's current National Touring production is "Cinderella" by Rodgers and Hammerstein. This musical is the well known story about the glass slippers, the ugly stepsisters, magic wands and midnight curfews. Originally adapted for the stage from the television version starring Julie Andrews on March 31, 1956, updated from the 1965 TV version starring Lesley Anne Warren and once again in 1997 starring Brandy. The recent Broadway revival with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane ran for 770 performances, won the Tony Award for best costumes in 2013, proving this stage show never ceases to amaze and entertain people. In this new version the stepsister roles are fleshed out with Charlotte as the demanding on and Gabrielle being more sympathetic to Ella, the fairy godmother, Marie has been turned into a crazy woman who lives in the town and a firebrand, rabble rouser Jean-Michel eventually falls in love with Gabrielle, giving the story some new twists to the old tale. Director Gina Rattan turns the gorgeous and majestic Hanover Theatre into a magical world with his talented cast members. This musical has excellent musical direction by Charlie Reuter with his six piece orchestra and fabulous choreography by Lee Wilkins. The magic of this show definitely captures the hearts of audience with its timeless tale.

Leading this large cast is Tatyana Lubov as Ella. She is a gorgeous blonde with a glorious soprano voice which soars in all her numbers. Her many songs include "In My Own Little Corner", "Impossible", "Possible", "Ten Minutes Ago" when she falls in love with the prince, "A Lovely Night", where she and her stepfamily imagine what happened at the ball and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" where she and the prince are united at last. Tatyana gives the character more spunk and backbone. She shines in her relationships with the other characters especially in the love scenes and in her wistful and yearning moments, too. Hayden Stanes shines as the tall, dark and handsome prince, Topher, His fabulous tenor voice soars in all his numbers with an incredible falsetto including the comical "Me Who Am I?", the lovely, "Ten Minutes Ago" with phenomenal dancing and lifts by the dancing chorus, The Pursuit where they chase after Cinderella in the forest. "Loneliness of Evening" is an emotion packed number where he yearns to find the girl of his dreams. It was first written for "South Pacific" for Mary Martin as Emile's letter to Nellie and the romantic, "Do I Love You?", when he finally unites with Cinderella. Hayden is one of the best Princes I have seen in this musical. They make the perfect couple to lead these other performers in this majestic musical.

Leslie Jackson as Marie has the most outstanding voice in this show. Her soprano voice is magnificent and soars off the charts in "Impossible" and "Possible" and especially poignant is "Music in You" sung by Marie who urges Cinderella to pursue her man at the banquet. "Music in You" is from a R&H movie called Main Street to Broadway in 1953l. The chorus' harmonies are astounding especially in this closing number. Another scene stealer is the revolutionary, Jean-Michel excellently played by Chris Woods. His voice is topnotch in "Now is the Time" where he tries to help the poor people save their homes from the evil Sebastian, the Prince's right hand man. His song was originally written as a duet for Emile and Cable in "South Pacific" and works excellently in this show as the theme of Jean-Michel, the revolutionary who wants to save his country. Jean-Michel obtains the girl of his dreams, stepsister, Gabrielle who is terrifically played by Mimi Robinson, a beautiful statuesque, red head. She is sympathetic to Cinderella's plight and is thrown out of the house by her mother for helping Ella. The evil stepmother, Madame is well played by Sarah Primmer while the comical Charlotte is fabulously played by Joanna Johnson who stops the show with "Stepsisters Lament'' with the girls. The costumes by William Ivey Long which won the Tony Award are breathtaking especially impressive are the costumes that turn inside out to become the fairy godmother's pink gown, Cinderella's white gown to the ball and the gold gown to the banquet. So for a musical the whole family can enjoy, be sure to catch "Cinderella" at the Hanover Theatre. Run do not walk to the box office to see this phenomenal musical where the singing and dancing will captivate you all night long. Tell them Tony sent you.

CINDERELLA (13 to 16 October)
Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St, Worcester, MA
1(877)571-SHOW or

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