BWW Blog: Cody Williams of R+H's CINDERELLA - Opening the Show!
It's Possible! Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella has finally opened on Broadway. Performing this show every night is a dream come true! For so many months, I have wondered and dreamed of what this show would actually become. On opening night, March 3rd, I was so proud of the show that had been created. I was thrilled and grateful to be part of it, and it makes me so happy to believe that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II would feel the same way.
Taking part in a preview process for a Broadway show is an incredible experience, to say the least. You realize that every time you make a change, you are, in a way, making history. You are helping to create a show that will be done at theaters all around for years and years to come. This was my first time taking part in a preview process, and it was very surreal for me to think that the changes we were making on the fly might affect every actor who ever takes part in a future production of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. Our creative team did such an incredible job of cleaning up and shaping our show into a finished product, and our principals did a tremendous job of implementing the changes! It was crazy and exciting to make huge changes during the daytime rehearsals, and perform those changes just a few hours later for a full Broadway house!
Something that took me by surprise during previews was that audience members would be able to actually propose marriage onstage after the show. To be honest, I was not quite sure of how I felt about this. That being said, after our first proposal, I became a big fan of the idea! When the couple comes onstage, it is fascinating to see their inner monologues! The guy is always smiling so big, and you can tell his heart is beating a mile a minute. A true man on a mission! The woman usually is thinking something along the lines of "Brrrp, this is awkward to be onstage." Once the guy takes the microphone from Santino and gets down on his knee, the woman's demeanor immediately changes! She is instantly in-the-moment, emotionally engaged, and completely focused on her man. We have had two proposals, and so far, both women have said yes (woohoo!), and the audience has loved it! I get to watch the Prince propose to Cinderella every night, and seeing the audience react so exuberantly to a real proposal definitely helps me make that every-night moment onstage more truthful.
We sing a reprise of "It's Possible" after the bow of each show. This was another moment that I questioned. A couple of weeks into the run, we had the cutest little girl and her mother in the front row. I loved this girl from the moment I fell out of the tree as the Raccoon and heard her wonderful voice. She thought that raccoon fall was the funniest thing ever! Haha! Her laugh was priceless! When we got to the "It's Possible" (Reprise) at the end of the show, I knew I wanted to make eye contact and wave to her. I looked down at her and saw a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome sitting in her mom's lap. Her mom was crying her eyes out while holding her very close! Seeing this mom so emotional and so thrilled that she had gotten to experience our show with her beautiful daughter touched me so much that I got teary eyed! I often remember those two as I'm singing the "It's Possible" (Reprise). It is a moment in the show that I now love doing.
Opening night was everything I had ever dreamed a Broadway opening night would be and more! I couldn't believe the amount of cards, gifts, flowers, and chocolate waiting for me on my spot. My Facebook was firing off like it was my Birthday. About an hour before the show, Nick Spangler gathered the full company in the house, and we watched an incredible movie he had made which documented our journey to opening. It was the perfect way to get the night started. We then circled up onstage for the Gypsy Robe ceremonies. Since this is my first show as an original cast member, I had never experienced one of these ceremonies. For those of you who haven't experienced one, it's a mix of a high school pep rally and a secret society ceremony. Next our wonderful producers and creative team said a few words. Josh Rhodes, our choreographer, gave everyone a penny to throw into the well in Cinderella's yard. This way, for as long as the show runs, everyone involved will (in a way) be onstage every night.
Our opening night party was at a beautiful historic place called Gotham Hall. There was delicious food, celebrities, and even a giant ice sculpture glass slipper. The party after was really the icing on the cake. March 3rd, 2013, was a lovely night that I will never forget.
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Andy Mills, Laura Osnes, Victoria Clark, Cody Williams
Filming the B Roll
Just SOME of the opening night loot!
Nick Spangler showing us his awesome movie
Make a wish!
Bizarre and improbable and pretty as a Page from the Fairy tale books...Stephanie Gibson
Douglas Carter Bean, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Mark Brokaw at Curtain Call
Cody Williams and Jen Brissman