Fran Drescher to Make Broadway Debut as 'Madame' in CINDERELLA in February; Harriet Harris to Depart on 2/3
The producers of Cinderella announced today that television and film star Fran Drescher will make her Broadway debut as Cinderella's stepmother Madame, beginning performances on February 4th for a 10-week run through April 13 at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway). Ms. Drescher takes over the role created by Harriet Harris, who concludes her acclaimed year-long run in the musical to return to her home in California.
Beloved by millions as "The Nanny" on the long-running CBS-TVcomedy, Ms. Drescher received two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe nominations for the series, which she also created, wrote, directed and executive produced. She most recently starred in TV Land's sitcom "Happily Divorced" as Fran, a Los Angeles florist whose 18-year marriage ends after her husband announces he's gay, yet they continue to live together under the same roof.
Ms. Drescher's numerous film credits include "This is Spinal Tap," (for which she won Esquire Magazine's 'Five Minute Oscar'); "The Beautician and the Beast," which she also executive produced; and countless films with the likes of Robin Williams and Tim Robbins ("The Cadillac Man"), Dan Aykroyd and Billy Crystal, and with such esteemed directors as Rob Reiner, Milos Forman ("Ragtime") and Francis Ford Coppola.
A native of New York City, she is no stranger to the stage, having made her debut in The Pasadena Playhouse world premiere of Ronald Ribman's Rug Merchants of Chaos and Off-Broadway in Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s), The Exonerated and Nora Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore. She also performed in a special production of Camelot at Lincoln Center.
Ms. Drescher is the author of two books - ENTER WHINING and CANCER SCHMANCER - both New York Times best sellers. Earlier this year, she celebrated 13 years of wellness as a uterine cancer survivor. A leading health advocate, she was instrumental in getting the nation's first Gynecologic Cancer and Education and Awareness Act passed, and has been appointed as Special Envoy for Women's Health Issues by the U.S. State Department. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the John Wayne Institute Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award and the Albert Einstein Ccollege of Medicines Spirit of Achievement Award.
With its fresh, new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Cinderella combines the story's classic elements - glass slippers, pumpkin, a beautiful ball and more - with some surprise twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, the Cinderella of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical now on Broadway is a surprisingly contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting: a spirited young woman with savvy and soul, eager to develop a world view, she doesn't let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She not only fights for her own dreams, but makes the prince, who falls in love with her, open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams, too.
CINDERELLA has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw. Josh Rhodes is choreographer. Music adaptation, supervision and arrangements are by David Chase. Orchestrations are by Danny Troob. Andy Einhorn is music director and conductor.
One of the legendary musical theatre duo Rodgers + Hammerstein's most popular titles, Cinderella was written for television -- debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews -- and only this year has made its long-overdue Broadway debut. Along with Cinderella, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's legendary musicals include OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
MR. Beane's book for RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S Cinderella blends masterfully with the musical's beloved 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?"
Leading the cast of RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S Cinderella are Laura Osnes as Cinderella and Santino Fontana as the Prince, Rebecca Luker as Fairy Godmother Marie (Victoria Clark returns January 21); Ann Harada as stepsister Charlotte; Marla Mindelle as stepsister Gabrielle; Peter Bartlett as Sebastian, Prince Topher's mentor and Lord Chancellor, Greg Hildreth as the rebel Jean-Michel and Phumzile Sojola as Lord Pinkleton. Jill Abramovitz, Kristine Bendul, Heidi Giberson, Stephanie Gibson, Shonica Gooden, Kendal Hartse, Robert Hartwell, Dan Horn, Laura Irion, Andy Jones, Brandon Leffler, Sam Lips, Andy Mills, Linda Mugleston, Alessa Neeck, Peter Nelson, Kirstin Tucker, Cody Williams, Branch Woodman and Kevin Worley complete the cast.
RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S Cinderella has production design by a team with numerous Tony Awards and nominations to their credit:
Scenic Design by Anna Louizos (Tony nominee IN THE HEIGHTS, HIGH FIDELITY, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD); also AVENUE Q, Irving Berlin'S WHITE CHRISTMAS);
Costume design by William Ivey Long (6-time Tony winner for Cinderella, HAIRSPRAY, THE PRODUCERS, GREY GARDENS, CRAZY FOR YOU, NINE);
Lighting design by Ken Posner (Tony nominee Cinderella; Tony winner THE COAST OF UTOPIA; also WICKED, HAIRSPRAY, OTHER DESERT CITIES);
Sound design by Nevin Steinberg (Tony nominee Cinderella; The Gershwin's PORGY AND BESS, LA BOHEME; BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, HAIR, IN THE HEIGHTS).
CINDERELLA is produced by Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Kocis, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Luigi Caiola & Rose Caiola, Roy Furman, Walt Grossman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, Glass Slipper Productions/Eric Schmidt, Ted Liebowitz/James Spry, Blanket Fort Productions and is produced in association with Center Theatre Group. Charles Salameno is associate producer.
Tickets to RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S Cinderella are on sale through Telecharge and can be purchased by calling 212-239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com. Tickets are also on sale at the Broadway Theater (1681 Broadway at 53rd Street).