BWW Review: CINDERELLA at the Eccles is Magical

BWW Review: CINDERELLA at the Eccles is Magical

The touring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA is a magical showcase of the new Broadway adaptation, filled with whimsy and lush beauty.

CINDERELLA (music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II, new book by Douglas Carter Beane) is the first Broadway outing for the beloved musical that started its life as a live television broadcast in 1957.

Originally starring Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana in 2013, the show contains all the elements you would expect from the familiar rags-to-riches fairy tale. When a girl who spends her life working for her ungrateful stepmother wishes to attend the Prince's ball, a fairy godmother appears to grant her wish, but with a warning that she must return by the stroke of midnight.

Hints of many different versions of the Cinderella story are alluded to in this effort to flesh out the characters and their motivations, and this version ultimately succeeds in its attempt to be a satisfying modern rendition of the tale.

The young cast of this production is not as strong in its acting as its singing, with a tendency across the board to overemote. However, the singing and dancing is still lovely, and the performances are enjoyable.

Tatyana Lubov stars as Ella and fills the stage with a sweet presence and dulcet singing voice. Her leading man, Hayden Stanes, fills the role of Prince Topher admirably with a pleasant personality and rich vocals.

Also impressive are Leslie Jackson as Marie, Sarah Primmer as Madame, Mimi Robinson as Gabrielle, Utah native JoAnna Johnson as Charlotte, and Vincent B. Davis as Lord Pinkleton.

The real magic of this CINDERELLA comes from the whimsy and beauty of the production team's contributions. The Tony-winning costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, set design by Anna Louizos, and choreography by Josh Rhodes (Broadway) and Lee Wilkins (tour) combine to create stunning stage pictures.

A lantern-lit search in the forest, a lavish royal wedding, and multiple breathtaking transformations featuring clever illusions are just a few of the many images that will remain with the audience long after the final bow.

CINDERELLA plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 4, 2017. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.

Photo Credit: L-R Hayden Stanes (Topher) and Tatyana Lubov (Ella). Photo by Carol Rosegg.

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