Home The Theatre Sphere Australian Premiere Season of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella Now Underway

Australian Premiere Season of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella Now Underway

Tina Bursill, Todd McKenney, Ainsley Melham, Shubshri Kandiah, Silvie Paladino (c) Hugh Stewart

On Friday evening, Opera Australia and Crossroads Live Australia hosted their first preview performance of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, offering a new take and new production on the long-running musical. The season will run at the Regent Theatre until 23 July 2022, with subsequent seasons already lined up at the QPAC Lyric Theatre from 5 August 2022 and Sydney’s Lyric Theatre from 23 October 2022. Previews will be underway for the next few days, with Thursday 26 May 2022 to serve as the show’s official “Opening Night” – for anyone who may want to see some local celebrities walk the red carpet.

Following their debut roles as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in Disney Theatrical Productions Australia’s season of Aladdin the Musical, this production will see Shubshri Kandiah and Ainsley Melham reunite together once more in the lead roles of Ella (Cinderella) and Prince Topher respectively.

Other cast members include Silvie Paladino (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables) as Marie, the Fairy Godmother; and Tina Bursill (TV’s Doctor Doctor, Wentworth) as Madame, Ella’s stepmother, in Melbourne and Sydney. Todd McKenney (The Boy From Oz, Shrek) plays the Lord Chancellor, Sebastian, during the Melbourne season, Matilda Moran (Titanic: the Musical, Les Misérables) and Bianca Bruce (In the HeightsMemphis the Musical) play Ella’s stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte. Daniel Belle (My Fair LadyLes Misérables) is Lord Pinkleton, the second-in-command in the Royal household, while Josh Gardiner (Billy Elliot, Rent) is Jean-Michel, the poor revolutionary who is in love with Gabrielle.

The production seeks to provide a fresh new take on the tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic elements – the glass slippers, pumpkin, a beautiful masked ball and more – along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. A spirited young woman with savvy and soul, she not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realise his dreams too. This stage production is based on the 2013 Broadway version, featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Mark Brokaw.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most popular titles, Cinderella was written for television, debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance. Cinderella was re-made for television in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren in the title role, Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon as the King and Queen, and Celeste Holm as the Fairy Godmother. A further television remake followed in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother, Whoopi Goldberg as the Queen, and Jason Alexander as Lionel.

We are thrilled to finally open this Broadway favourite, and hold the Australian Premiere at the magnificent Regent Theatre. Cinderella is one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s greatest scores and this production, with beautiful orchestrations, magnificent costumes and sets, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love from the classic story, will have audiences clamouring for more.

We’re overjoyed that Australia will enjoy our outstanding cast led by Shubshri and Ainsley, and know that they are going to relish bringing this much-loved story to life. Audiences will be enchanted by this glorious and uplifting musical.

Llyndon Terracini (Opera Australia) and John Frost (Crossroads Live Australia)

Tickets for the Melbourne Season are available through TicketMaster, with direct links to official booking pages via the show’s official website. Tickets for the Brisbane and Sydney seasons are also on-sale, with tickets available via QTIX and TicketMaster respectively – and again – consult the show’s official website for more information.

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