IU Auditorium will present the Tony Award-winning production of "Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 28 and Thursday March 1. Tickets start at $17 for students with a valid ID an $29 for the general public.
The musical follows the familiar story of Ella, nicknamed “Cinderella” by her Evil stepmother, because she sits by the cinders of the fireplace.
It follows Ella’s journey to overcome her cruel stepfamily and marry Topher, a handsome prince. In addition to evil stepsisters, the show has many of the other traditional highlights, including glass slippers, a gigantic pumpkin and a fairy godmother.
However, Kaitlyn Mayse, an IU alumna and actress who performs in the production, said the new production has many modern twists on the classic fairy tale.
“Cinderella takes on a lot more of her own destiny,” Mayse said. “The script was rewritten in 2013 by Douglas Carter Beane. The writing simultaneously has that old-timey flair, but also has some modern language, modern jokes.”
An alumna of IU’s musical theatre BFA program, Kaitlyn Mayse, plays four roles in the production. She is a woodland creature, a member of the ensemble and an understanding for Ella and stepsister Gabrielle. Mayse graduated from IU in 2016, and "Cinderella" marks her national tour debut.
This production is based on the 2013 Broadway production that uses a book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Mark Brokaw. The 2013 production ran for a total of 770 performances and garnered nine Tony Award nominations, according to an IU Auditorium press release. The musical contains a score by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, which originally appeared in an Emmy nominated 1957 telefilm starring Julie Andrews as Cinderella.
Rodgers and Hammerstein are also known as the composers of such classics as "The Sound of Music," "South Pacific" and "The King and I."
Two subsequent TV versions aired, including a 1965 telefilm, which received 22 million viewers and that starred Lesley Ann Warren. The other was a 1997 telefilm with Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Whoopi Goldberg as the Queen and Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother, according to the show’s website.
Mayse will hold a master class for professor Liza Gennaro’s THRT-T 304: Advanced Musical Theater Dance Styles on Thursday at 10 a.m. The class will cover partnering technique, lifts and possibly a dance combination from Cinderella.
“It’s really great to come back to my alma mater,” Mayse said. “I used to watch the tours come through all the time. The IU Auditorium was like, 'Oh, that's the goal, that’s what I want to do.' And so, to be on the reverse side of that now is truly amazing."
She said IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance prepared her well for a career in the performing arts.
“The musical theatre program was incredible for me," Mayse said. "I not only learned techniques, as far as singing technique, new dance techniques, all that kind of stuff, I also had professors who taught me the business of the business, who taught me how to live and work in New York City, how to make a living when you’re auditioning and you don’t have a job performing."
Rodgers and Hammerstein's songs from the show include “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes.”
“We are excited for our audiences to see impossible things happening before their very eyes in this production of 'Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,'” said IU Auditorium Executive Director Doug Booher in a press release. “The stunning transformations and musical numbers are enhanced with some clever twists, making this illustrious musical fairytale nothing short of magical.”