BWW Interview: Tatyana Lubov - A Fairytale Journey to Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
Small town girl moves to New York City with dreams of breaking into the highly-competitive world of Broadway and musical theatre. Newcomer Tatyana Lubov did just that when she defied odds and landed the title role in the fresh new national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA.
Lubov, a Cottage Grove native, who attended Monona Grove High School, honed her craft under the tutelage of her talented parents, Mom, the choir director, and her dad, with a deep history in the Madison music scene and director of the school's musicals.
I was excited to talk with Ms. Lubov about her journey from new kid in the Big Apple, to lead actress originating the touring role of Ella. She had lived in New York City a mere four months when she went to an open casting call for CINDERELLA. She was number 412 in line to audition, but after waiting all day, was never seen. In a stroke of luck, she was encouraged to send in a video audition, which she promptly did, catching the eye of the creative team and earning a callback.
Many call backs later she received the life-altering phone call. Because Lubov had not yet landed an agent, the casting director called her directly to share the good news that she will be stepping into the glass slippers. When asked how she told her parents, Lubov said, "My mom was actually coming out to NY with her students. So I waited and told her in person in Times Square, and she just squealed."
At the time we spoke, Lubov was deep in rehearsals. I asked if she had developed any favorite numbers from the show. She said, "I really like the first number of the show. It's one I don't even sing in that much, but I get to listen to the cast sing this beautiful opening number. For me, it's that moment I feel really lucky to be surrounded by such a great and talented cast. And it almost sounds like a hymn, and it's such a beautiful opening for the show."
While we all know the story of Cinderella, the Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA is an updated show with a few twists. Lubov said, "It's very contemporary how it's written. It's very witty and fun. Something that's important for me is that Ella has been created into a much stronger character and is even politically involved with Prince Topher. She's been created as an equal with the prince and that's so important for little girls to see nowadays, and I think it will be very inspiring.
I wondered why I hadn't heard more about Ms Lubov's theatre experience in the Madison area, but she said other than high school productions (she was one of Overture's Tommy Award Recipients), she wasn't really involved beyond one summer working as a stage manager for CTM. After high school she earned a BFA in musical theatre from UW Stevens Point.
But the word is definitely out now. As Lubov graces the stage in Overture Hall, there will be a large cheering section including her parents and more than 150 students, leaving Lubov both nervous and excited to show them what she's doing.
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 Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA combines the story's classic elements - glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn't let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.
One of Rodgers + Hammerstein's most popular titles, Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA was written for television -- debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews. In 2013, the show 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 Pacificand The Sound of Music.
Mr. Douglas Carter Beane's book for Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA blends masterfully with the musical's cherished 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?"
Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies, and hundreds of local artists engage nearly half a million people in educational and artistic experiences each year. Overture.org
Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA will run at Overture Center for the Arts from Tuesday, October 4, through Sunday, Oct 9. Tickets can be purchased at overturecenter.org, in person at the ticket office or by phone at 608.258.4141.
Photo: Tatyana Lubov and Hayden Stanes