By 1957, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had become Broadway royalty. Oklahoma! had ushered in an era in musical theater in which music and lyrics served to advance the storyline. They followed that smash with other hits such as Carousel, South Pacific and The King and I. Still to come was their final hit, The Sound of Music.
As venerated as they were on Broadway, the pair took a detour that year to write a musical for television based on the old story of Cinderella, the scullery maid turned into a princess after meeting her prince at a ball. It was their only musical written for TV.
Originally aired on CBS on March 31, 1957, Cinderella starred Julie Andrews. Jon Cypher, Edie Adams, Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostley and was viewed by more than 100 million people. The musical has been remade twice, starring Lesley Ann Warren in 1965 and pop princess Brandy in 1997.
So good was the original TV version that Cinderella has been re-created on stage numerous times. Now, the latest version of the classic musical is coming to Rudder Auditorium on the campus of Texas A&M with two performances this week.
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella will be presented by MSC OPAS at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets range from $32 to $90 and are available at the MSC Box Office on the first floor of Rudder Tower. They also are available by phone at 979-845-1234 and online at opas.tamu.edu.
The latest version of Cinderella opened on Broadway on March 3, 2013, and ran for almost two years. It earned nine Tony nominations. Among its songs are In My Own Little Corner, Impossible/It's Possible and Ten Minutes Ago.