Long Distance: 'Cinderella' proves happy endings are still possible

Paige Faure and Andy Jones in the national tour of "Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella."

She's planting her foot down once again.

Proving footwear can, indeed, become something of a national institution, Cinderellaleaves her iconic glassy pump on the steps of the Orpheum, this time courtesy of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein'sclassic Broadway musical retelling, which swirls into Minneapolis on a tour stop Sept. 8-13.

It's not that the tale has changed that much: There's still a pumpkin coach,a fairy godmother, and a host of theatrical innovations that work because they're rooted in the venerable tradition of The Great White Way, but what puts this particular spin on the property rather exceptional is the superior score by two of Broadway's greatest musical theater practitioners.

With gems in a melodious tiara which include, "Impossible/It's Possible," "Ten Minutes Ago,"and "In My Own Little Corner,"the little pauper girl with the big wish for love, who is literally transformed into her prince's dream-come-true, is awash with such a lush musical score it makes all that royal jewelry seem pale by comparison.

And, although the production boasts magical stage tricks and a self-proclaimed "contemporary take" on the beloved fairy tale, it serves more as a bracer for a lot of the other nonsense passing as musical theater these days.


If it's enchantment you want, you're going to get it with the touring package of the latest Broadway incarnation of "Cinderella," which helped propel Minnesota-native Laura Osnesinto the Rodgers and Hammerstein stratosphere, showing off her fine, bell-like soprano, and earning her a Drama Desk Award and a second Tony nomination.

Alas, Osnes isn't on the tour (her duties here are reassigned to Paige Faure, who possess a lovely voice of her own), but that's no reason to refuse an invitation to this particular ball.

The score is still there, gloriously orchestrated by a handful of professionals more than up to the task, and cleverly rewritten by playwright Douglas Carter Beane.

Going to this "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" makes you believe that happy endings aren't so impossible anymore after all.What a welcome relief.

What:  "Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella"

When:  Sept. 8-13

Where:  Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis


Tickets:  $29 to $154, order online or by phone: 800-982-2787

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