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Australian Premiere of RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA Begins Tonight

Cinderella will play at the Regent Theatre until 23 July.

Australian Premiere of RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA Begins Tonight

The first performance in Australia of the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella will take place tonight, Friday 20 May, at Melbourne's Regent Theatre. One of the most beautiful and beloved musicals of all time, Cinderella will play at the Regent Theatre until 23 July, with seasons following at the Lyric Theatre QPAC, Brisbane from 5 August and the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 23 October.

The final week for the Melbourne season of Cinderella goes on pre-sale on Monday 23 May, with GP sales from Friday 27 May.

At the official Opening night next Thursday, 26 May, guests will include Sarah Abo, Annette Allison, Angela Bishop, Philip Brady, Debra Byrne, Gorgi Coghlan, Tayla Damir, The Hon David Davis, George Donikian, Marg Downey, Brendan Fevola, The Hon Martin Foley, Nadine Garner, Tottie Goldsmith, Gyton Grantley, Jo Hall, Nicholas Hammond, Jennifer Hansen, Amanda Harrison, Luke Hines, Sammy J, Patricia Karvelas, Bert LaBonte, Debra Lawrence, Nicole Livingston, Georgia Love, Alicia Loxley, Catherine McClements, William McInnes, Maggie McKenna, Robyn Nevin, Patti Newton, Tash Pavlou, April Rose Pengilly, Jamila Rizvi, Michael Rowland, Madeline Slattery, Heidi Victoria, Alison Whyte, Todd Woodbridge and Candice Wyatt.

Leading the cast of this lavish production is Shubshri Kandiah (Aladdin, Fangirls) as Ella (Cinderella); Ainsley Melham (Merrily We Roll Along, Aladdin) as Prince Topher; Silvie Paladino (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables) as Marie, the Fairy Godmother; and Tina Bursill (TV's Doctor Doctor, Wentworth) as Madame, Ella's stepmother, in Melbourne and Sydney. Todd McKenney (The Boy From Oz, Shrek) plays the Lord Chancellor, Sebastian, during the Melbourne season, while Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music) takes over as Sebastian in Brisbane and Sydney.

Matilda Moran (Titanic: the Musical, Les Misérables) and Bianca Bruce (In the Heights, Memphis the Musical) play Ella's stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte. Daniel Belle (My Fair Lady, Les Misérables) is Lord Pinkleton, the second-in-command in the Royal household, while Josh Gardiner (Billy Elliot, Rent) is Jean-Michel, the poor revolutionary who is in love with Gabrielle. Completing the cast are William Brougham, Danielle Evrat, Luke Haberecht, Dominique Hamilton, Matthew Jenson, Lauren Jimmieson, Leah Lim, Kassie Martin, Rubin Matters, Nathan Pavey, Joshua Russell, Greta Sherriff, Lewis Shilvock, Suzanne Steele, Tom Struik, Daniel Szesiong Todd, Alexis van Maanen, Dean Vince, Daniel Wijngaarden, Erica Wild and Emily Wood.

Producers Lyndon Terracini for Opera Australia and John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia are delighted to finally bring this wonderful production to the Australian stage. "We are thrilled to finally open this Broadway favourite, and hold the Australian Premiere at the magnificent Regent Theatre. Cinderella is one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's greatest scores and this production, with beautiful orchestrations, magnificent costumes and sets, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love from the classic story, will have audiences clamouring for more.

"We're overjoyed that Australia will enjoy our outstanding cast led by Shubshri and Ainsley, and know that they are going to relish bringing this much-loved story to life. Audiences will be enchanted by this glorious and uplifting musical."

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella combines the story's classic elements - the glass slippers, pumpkin, a beautiful masked ball and more - 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. A spirited young woman with savvy and soul, she not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realise his dreams too.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein's most popular titles, Cinderella was written for television, debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance. More than 100 million viewers saw the broadcast, more people than any other program in the history of television at the time. Cinderella was re-made for television in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren in the title role, Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon as the King and Queen, and Celeste Holm as the Fairy Godmother. A further television remake followed in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother, Whoopi Goldberg as the Queen, and Jason Alexander as Lionel.

The stage version of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella made its long-awaited Broadway debut in January 2013, featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Mark Brokaw, and it ran for two years. Mr Beane's book 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?

Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella is a romantic and exciting experience for anyone who's ever had a dream.


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