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The Morgan-Wixson Theatre Brings Magic To The Mainstage With CINDERELLA This Month

The musical CINDERELLA waltzes onto the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Mainstage in Santa Monica July 8-24, 2022.

The Morgan-Wixson Theatre Brings Magic To The Mainstage With CINDERELLA This Month

Welcoming audiences to a magical world that celebrates being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe, the musical CINDERELLA waltzes onto the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Mainstage in Santa Monica July 8-24, 2022. This updated version of the classic tale and beloved musical celebrates the magic and music of the original, accompanied by contemporary themes and character relationships relevant to today's audiences.

With a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and additional lyrics by Douglas Carter Beane, David Chase, and Bruce Pomahac that update the original book by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this version of CINDERELLA was nominated for 9 Tony Awards (winning for costume design) and won 3 Drama Desk awards (with 5 nominations). New Orchestrations by Danny Troob and Music Adaptation & Arrangements by David Chase celebrate the classic and contemporary.

"We are so used to this being one person's unique tale, but this version celebrates characters who speak their own truth and stand up to power, which lends to the universality of the show," says Niko Montelibano (he/him), the show's director and award-winning choreographer. "At the same time, there are beloved songs audiences will recognize, the all-important Ball to attend, a lot of magic and surprises, and the potential for people to leave with a new song in their hearts."

A magical theater adventure for the whole family, CINDERELLA heralds the Morgan Wixson's return to live fully staged musicals. "I love that we are taking a classic of the musical theater world and putting a new spin on it. I am mostly just thrilled to have one of our big summer musicals back live on stage," enthuses Morgan-Wixson Board President Michael Jackson Heimos. "I look forward to people coming together in person again to experience a really fun show and leave singing the songs they know and love. Just like the invitation to the ball invites guests to a great celebration, I invite our community to come to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones when we come together not only for a shared love of musical theater, but also to celebrate live theater in our neighborhood's one-of-a-kind live theater space."

What excites Montelibano about this show is "the idea that any retelling of something classic we know and love brings us something familiar that we cling to, that we grew up with but has room to defy expectation due to what's new that's being explored. That's a lovely metaphor for what theater means to us, especially right now. To take a story we've seen a million times since childhood and find new things, new takeaways and new orchestrations of classic songs is inviting and something to celebrate."

He continues, "This version of Cinderella is a beautiful allegory for the modern world, but still rooted in something classical and embracing. It speaks to a changing world and shows us there's a little bit of fairy tale in every situation we encounter. Morgan-Wixson Theatre has been on a mission to continue important conversations and I think this show is a beautiful way to get young families and those not necessarily in the theater world to come together and be part of the conversation that beautiful shows like this can offer as a comment on an ever-changing world."

Taking up the reins to direct the show once rehearsals were underway, Montelbano is enthusiastic about this production's potential to delight audiences. "The show has such an excellent creative team, so even though I came in as director after rehearsals had begun - I began as the choreographer - everything fell into place. Being in a room full of people I enjoy being around and love working with has been the cherry on top." Jackson-Heimos appreciates that Montelibano offered to direct the show. "There is no one more ready or talented than Niko to take on director duties in addition to choreography. He has years of experience in musical theater and from the rehearsals I've seen so far, I can't wait to see the final product on the stage."

In addition to Montelibano as Director and Choreographer, Greg Koppenhaver (He/Him) serves as Musical Director; Regina Niles (she/her) and Jeff Stevens (he/him) are producers; Emily Ellis (she/they) is the Stage Manager and Intimacy Coordinator with Tara Brown (she/her) as ASM. Set and lighting design by Bill Wilday (he/him); and Costume Design by Anne Gesling(she/her).

The cast includes: Katelyn Coon (she/her) as Ella; Eadric Einbinder (he/they) as Topher; Steve Weber (he/him) as Jean-Michel; Audrey Pennington (she/her) as Gabrielle; Caroline Hawthorne (she/her) as Charlotte; Julie Hinton (she/her) as Marie; Sara Kaner (she/her) as Madame; Jack Bernaz (he/him) as Sebastian; and Steven Flowers (he/him) as Lord Pinkelton. The understudy cast is: Amy Coles (she/her) as Ella; Kim Peterson (she/her) as Madame; Morgan Rysso (she/her) as Gabrielle; Erin Brownett (she/her) as Charlotte; and Natalie Kahn (she/her) as Marie.

To celebrate a MWT tradition, during the run of the show, the 2023 season will be announced. "We look forward to that special bonus for our audiences as we do each year at our summer musical - the live announcement for our 2023 season," said Jackson-Heimos. "We can't wait to announce this next season of exciting, boundary- breaking shows that we will bring to our stage."

CINDERELLA Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, New Book by Douglas Carter Beane, Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II. Presented by Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., previews on Friday July 8 at 8 pm; with Opening Night: Saturday, July 9 at 8 p.m. The show runs through July 24: Fridays/Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. $32/adult, $28/senior, $25/student, Group rates are available - call the box office for details (310) 828-7519. Visit Easy, free parking is available a block west of the theater, with many excellent restaurants within walking distance. Use the code "SLIPPER" between now and opening night to receive 30% off individual tickets. CINDERELLA is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

To ensure that our members, actors, creative teams, volunteers, and audiences have the best and safest experience possible when attending the Morgan-Wixson, and to protect the health of all those who enter our doors, we are requiring that all patrons wear masks while indoors. Masks with air valves and gaiter masks will not be accepted. Requests for ADA/medical accommodations must be made prior to ticket purchase. Please see our website for the official Covid-19 policy.

For 75 years the Morgan Wixson theatre has been a leader and innovator in community theatre. Long a home for passionate theatre practitioners and a center of live theatre in Santa Monica, students, incredibly talented local artists and future stars alike have graced its Mainstage - from James Dean and Harvey Korman in the 1940s and 50s, Rod McKuen composing an early score or Joyce DeWitt being "discovered" in the 70s to current Broadway star to Beanie Feldstein shining in our Youth Theatre program. The 200 seat non-equity Morgan-Wixson Theatre also welcomes concert programs, guest productions, rehearsals for up and coming productions and more. In addition to scheduled seasons of sophisticated, fully-mounted productions, the growth of the theatre includes expanding to offer New Works Festivals and unique "specials" that invite collaboration with an increasingly diverse audience and artistic community. The American Alliance for Theatre-lauded Y.E.S (Youth education/entertainment Series) program trains new generations of theatre artists, who are welcomed regardless of their financial means. The Morgan-Wixson's commitment to community is reflected in its many Community Partnerships and ticket access initiatives. For more details, please visit the website at

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