There’s something magical on its way to Greenville’s West End. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s
Cinderella is the second production of the 2022-23 season at South Carolina Children’s Theatre
(SCCT) and opens Friday, November 18th on the Bell MainStage. This Broadway adaptation of
the classic musical features new characters, a hilarious libretto, surprising twists, and an
SCCT’s Artistic Director, Matt Giles (also the director of this production), wasn’t always a fan of
the classic musical. He and his brother grew up watching it on television.“The story of Cinderella
is ingrained in us all – it’s ancient and timeless. I wasn’t always a massive fan of this musical as
a kid. Every year I watched the televised version with Lesley Ann Warren – and I fell asleep. But,
after reading the updated Broadway script from 2013, I felt like the revisions gave the story new
life to speak to audiences of a newer generation. There’s still plenty of magic, but there’s also a
great sense of self-determination or magic of your own making. With the same beautiful music
and a few fun twists from our excellent design team, I’m confident this production will charm
audiences of all ages. I always love finding pieces that grandchildren will enjoy as much as
grandparents,” says Giles.
There are several versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, all of which were made for
TV: one in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, and another in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren (the
version Giles grew up watching), and the 1997 version starring Brandy and Whitney Houston.
This updated book by Douglas Carter Greene, gives Cinderella more agency and provides a
strong example of female friendship.
Giles is also working with his production team to put a fashionably fun and modern stamp on the
design of the show. Costume Designer, Sarah Greene is busy at work upcycling and sewing
from scratch to create a unique take on 1700’s Rococo fashion that incorporates exciting colors
and textures from the 1980’s. “We are excited to reimagine Cinderella in this unique artistic
style. So while there will still be the frills and ruffles that everyone loves, the show will have a
new feel and flair that we know will delight our audiences,” says Giles.
Cast member, Krissy Tucker, plays Madame (the evil stepmother) in this production.
Commenting on how the updated version of the story, Tucker says, “This version has more
depth, humor, and a bit more sarcasm than the original. It doesn’t give way to the notion from
the original that one person has to be saved from their situation by any one person. Or that your
social status determines your value or worth.”
Tucker is also looking forward to playing Madame alongside her own daughter Alexis Poole,
making this a family affair. “This is our first time acting together onstage and playing mother and
daughter actually makes it a lot easier, says Tucker.“It allows me to pull from a real place and
hopefully will help bring an authenticity that is tangible to the audience. And most importantly it’s
so much fun. This experience is taking our relationship to a whole new level!”
In planning the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella in SCCT’s coveted winter slot, the creative
team is excited to produce a show that will appeal to multiple generations. “The play still has the
sweetness and kindness qualities as seen in other versions that are geared mainly for children
but simultaneously includes humor and themes that adults will appreciate as well,” says Tucker.
“The show also teaches you that someone else does not determine your destiny but that you
possess that power within yourself. I also appreciate being a part of a production that is
inclusive of all races and is not bound by how roles were casted in the past. These are just a
couple of things that will resonate and feel relatable to all generations.”
Throughout the run of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, SCCT is also taking the opportunity
to give back during the holiday season. When attending shows, audience members can donate
gently worn pairs of shoes which will benefit Funds2Orgs, an organization that helps
communities in developing nations build small businesses. The theatre hopes to help facilitate
economic stability for these families abroad and promote a sense of gratitude and generosity in
its youngest patrons.
SCCT to present ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ was published in The Greenville Journal on November 9th, 2022.