Arts & Culture

Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'Cinderella' opens in Tampa

It's been considered a classic for half a century, but Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" had never seen a Broadway stage until last year.

And the national tour that began a few days ago is the first one ever. It opened in Providence and makes it second stop in Tampa, starting Tuesday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

"Cinderella" began life as a 1957 television production that starred Julie Andrews. Lesley Ann Warren took the title role in a 1965 TV version, and then in 1997 a new version with Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston and Bernadette Peters aired.

The Broadway version, which is the one that Tampa audiences will see, has all the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein songs from the original, but a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. Beane, who's known for such stage comedies as "The Little Dog Laughed" and "As Bees in Honey Drown," has kept the basics of the story intact but has given it a more contemporary flair, in which Cinderella is isn't as passive a character, the Prince is unsure of himself and both empower each other.

People who know the show say it's equal parts fairy tale and romantic comedy, and that it appeals to adults as much as it does to youngsters.

Details: Oct. 21-26, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $56-$95 plus service charge. Information: 813-229-7827, strazcenter.org.

-- Marty Clear

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