RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA Brings the Ball to Foothill Music Theatre

RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA Brings the Ball to Foothill Music Theatre

Multi-award winning Foothill Music Theatre presents Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific, legendary songwriting team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring a hilarious and romantic new book by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane, this contemporary take on the classic tale features some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible," and "Ten Minutes Ago." Director Milissa Carey, Music Director Daniel Feyer, and Choreographer Lee Ann Payne will stage this enchanted tale of love, reimagined for 21st century audiences in a breathtaking new production with full orchestra that includes all the magical moments such as the pumpkin carriage, the glass slipper, and Ella's astonishing transformation. Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella will play July 18- August 4, 2019 (press opening: July 19) at the Smithwick Theatre, I-280 & El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. Tickets ($12 - $32) and information can be found at www.foothill.edu/theatre or by phone at (650) 949-7360.

Originally written for television by legendary musical theatre duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the 1957 presentation of Cinderella starring Julie Andrews was one of the most watched TV musicals of all time. Cinderella was twice re-made for television, first in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren and then again in 1997 featuring Brandy and Whitney Houston, always featuring magical transformations. The cherished musical was adapted for the stage as Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella with stage craft recreating the visual effects. Its 2013 Broadway production starring Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark and Harriet Harris received 9 Tony Award nominations and William Ivey Long won the Tony Award for his elegant and enchanted costume design, which included converting Ella from rags to ballgown before the audience's eyes. USA Today called the Broadway musical "a scrumptious trifle that will charm theatregoers of all ages." San Francisco Chronicle gave Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella its highest rating, saying "This reimagined 'Cinderella' musical is a delight! This is the kind of show that lives in children's memories and offers adults a welcome escape from politics and inequality."

Foothill Music Theatre has assembled a talented cast for Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. Making her Foothill Music Theatre debut, Christine Lea stars as Ella, an intelligent and kind young woman who captures the heart and mind of the prince. Lea has performed in productions at Hollywood Fringe, AMDA, and Wilcox Stage Company, in addition to training at AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts and American Conservatory Theater. Returning to Foothill Music Theatre where he was seen in Side Show, Edward Clark stars as Topher, a young prince about to become king, uncertain of how to take control of his kingdom. Clark's recent theatre credits include playing the Tin Man in The Wiz at Sunnyvale Community Players. He has sung background for musical artists such as Journey and Josh Groban, and appeared on Oxygen's original series, "Fix My Choir" hosted by Michelle Williams and Deitrick Haddon.

Making her Foothill Music Theatre debut, Jasmine Johnson plays Madame, Ella's vain and selfish stepmother. Johnson has also performed with San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Opera Parallèle, and Opera Unlimited. Melissa Gialdini makes her Foothill Music Theatre debut as Gabrielle, a quiet but passionate stepsister to Ella, encouraged by her mother and sister to pursue wealth and social status at all costs. Gialdini was awarded Miss Silicon Valley in 2015 and has performed the national anthem at events including San Francisco 49ers, San Jose Sharks, and US Gymnastics Trials. Her stage credits include roles at San Jose Musical Theatre, Sunnyvale Community Players, Peninsula Youth Theatre, and Children's Musical Theatre of San Jose. Gwyneth Forrester returns to Foothill Music Theatre as Charlotte, a confident and brash stepsister to Ella. Seen in Foothill Music Theatre's Shrek the Musical and in Foothill Theatre Arts' She Kills Monsters and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Forrester has also performed at San Jose Musical Theater, Starting Arts, DMPA, and CCTF.

Returning to Foothill Music Theatre where she stole scenes as Roz the secretary in 9 to 5 The Musical and appeared in Damn Yankees, Angela Ceseña plays Marie, a beggar woman who is Ella's fairy godmother in disguise. Ceseña has also performed at Cabrillo Stage, Tabard Theatre Company, Sunnyvale Community Players, Woodside Community Theatre, and West Valley Light Opera, among others. Jomar Martinez returns to Foothill Music Theatre as Jean-Michel, a passionate peasant determined to start a revolution and earn the love of Gabrielle. Seen in Foothill Music Theatre's Side Show, Martinez's theatre credits include performances at California's Great America, San Jose Repertory Theatre, City Lights Theatre Company, Palo Alto Players, Contra Costa Civic Theatre.

Vic Prosak returns to Foothill Music Theatre as Sebastian, the kingdom's Lord Chancellor and a devious advisor to Topher. Recently seen in Foothill Theatre Arts' Twelve Angry Men and It Can't Happen Here, Prosak also performed in Foothill Music Theatre's South Pacific and All Shook Up and has appeared in productions at Palo Alto Players, The Pear Avenue Theatre, Bus Barn Stage Company, and Dragon Theatre. Making his Foothill Music Theatre debut, Juan Castro plays Lord Pinkleton, Sebastian's right-hand man. Castro has been seen at theatres including 42nd Street Moon, Bay Area Musicals, City Lights Theatre Company, Hillbarn Theatre, and Palo Alto Players.

The stellar ensemble includes Lourdes Arteaga, Dee Baily, Melissa Brown, Dan Cardenas, Helena Clarkson, Nick Conrad, Lauren D'Ambrosio, Rodrigo Diaz, Naomi Evans, Kimberly Kay, Sidney Kenny, Justin Kerekes, Marcus Kropp, Cameron Mayes, Jamari McGee, Jaime Melendez, Gianna Morales, Sam Nachison, Amanda Nguyen, Jill Painter, Elena Panos, Tiffany Petrossi, John Ralston, Geoffrey Silk, Antonio Suarez, and Melissa Wilson.

Milissa Carey (Director) joined the Foothill faculty in 2003 and teaches in both the Theatre and Music Departments. Carey has directed Foothill Music Theatre productions of Spring Awakening, Little Shop of Horrors, South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, All Shook Up, Working, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, She Loves Me, Side Show, Shrek, 9 to 5 The Musical, The Sound of Music, and most recently Bullets Over Broadway The Musical. She has directed projects at RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London), the American Conservatory Theater M.F.A. Program, Broadway By the Bay, Los Altos Stage Company, California Conservatory Theatre, Opera Academy of the West, among others. An award-winning Bay Area actress, including winning a 2019 San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Carey has performed leading roles with many Bay Area theatre companies including TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Center Repertory Theatre of Walnut Creek, San Jose Repertory Theatre, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Central Works, and 42nd Street Moon. She was in the cast of the 25th Anniversary Broadway National Tour of Evita under the direction of Hal Prince. Carey is on the faculty of the M.F.A. program at American Conservatory Theater and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Daniel Feyer (Music Director) is an adjunct faculty member at American Conservatory Theater's M.F.A. Acting program, accompanying classes and cabarets and serving as Music Director for A Christmas Carol at American Conservatory Theater's Geary Theater. He is also a Resident Artist in the Musical Theatre Department at Ruth Asawa S.F. School of the Arts, most recently conducting the spring musical Legally Blonde. Other Bay Area credits include Berkeley Playhouse (West Side Story, Tarzan, and Ragtime, which earned a Theatre Bay Area Award for Music Direction), Center REP (Freaky Friday), Contra Costa Musical Theatre (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Ray of Light Theatre (Reefer Madness), and Theatre Rhinoceros (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). He spent 14 years in New York, with Off-Broadway and regional highlights including The Underclassman (Drama Desk nomination for Orchestrations), Evil Dead: The Musical (American premiere and original cast recording), Illyria, With Glee, Working, Baltimore's CenterStage, Long Island's Gateway Playhouse, Michigan's Meadow Brook Theatre, and 11 seasons at Vermont's Weston Playhouse.

Lee Ann Payne (Choreographer) is a Bay Area choreographer, actor and director. She directed and choreographed Cabaret at Sunnyvale Community Players, 1940s Radio Hour at Hillbarn Theatre, and World Goes Round at Jewel Theatre Company. Other choreography credits include 42nd Street Moon (Nymph Errant), Palo Alto Players (Pete N. Keely), Sunnyvale Community Players (Godspell; Urinetown; Once Upon a Mattress; and Kiss Me, Kate), South Bay Musical Theatre (Promises, Promises), Bus Barn Stage Company (Smokey Joe's Café and Little Shop of Horrors), and Jewel Theatre Company (Company). Other directing credits include Dragon Productions Theatre Company, Broadway by the Bay, and West Valley College. Payne received her M.F.A. from San Diego State University and is a member of Actors' Equity Association and associate member of Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Richard Rodgers (Composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (Lyrics) maintained one of the most successful and influential partnerships in American Musical Theatre. Winning Tony Awards, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes for their collaborations, the pair composed eleven musicals that have graced Broadway stages, including Cinderella, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, The King and I, Carousel, Flower Drum Song, and State Fair. Their first joint musical Oklahoma! defined a new genre-the musical play-melding musical comedy with operetta. Prior to collaborating with Rodgers, Hammerstein also teamed up with Jerome Kern on Show Boat, and worked on operettas with several composers including Vincent Youmans and Sigmund Romberg. Prior to collaborating with Hammerstein, Rodgers wrote more than 40 shows and film scores with Lorenz Hart, including Babes in Arms, The Boys From Syracuse, and Pal Joey. After Hammerstein's passing, Rodgers won two Tony Awards for No Strings, and went on to collaborate on musicals with Martin Charnin, Stephen Sondheim, and Sheldon Harnick. Rodgers was also the first person to achieve the distinction of winning all four major American entertainment awards (Emmy, Grammy, Academy, and Tony Awards), garnering an Emmy for his score for Winston Churchill - The Valiant Years. In 1998, TIME Magazine and CBS News cited Rodgers and Hammerstein as one of the top twenty most influential artists of the twentieth century. Their music continues to be enjoyed by audiences all over the world-the Broadway revival of Oklahoma! received the 2019 Tony Award for "Best Revival."

Douglas Carter Beane is an American playwright, who won the Drama Desk Award for his book for the stage musical adaptation of Xanadu, and has received 4 Tony Award nominations for his work on the books for Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, Xanadu, Lysistrata Jones, and Sister Act, as well as a Tony Award nomination for his play The Little Dog Laughed. Beane was nominated for two additional Drama Desk Awards for As Bees in Honey Drown and the book of Lysistrata Jones. Other works include plays The Nance--its Broadway production starring Nathan Lane won three Tony Awards--White Lies, Old Money, and The Country Club; the screenplay of To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar; the revised libretto for Metropolitan Opera's Die Fledermaus; and musical The Big Time. Beane is the artistic director of Drama Dept. Theater Company in New York.

Foothill Music Theatre has won Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Ensemble Production, and Best Direction, among others. The company has also garnered numerous awards from the Los Angeles-based Drama-Logue, and kudos from myriad Bay Area critics for its sharp, handsomely mounted productions of Bullets Over Broadway The Musical, The Sound of Music, 9 to 5 The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Side Show, She Loves Me, South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors, Damn Yankees, Spring Awakening, The Producers, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Pajama Game, Sweeney Todd, and many other musicals.

Photo Credit: David Allen



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