(photo credit: Courtesy)
Who among us doesn’t know the legendary story of Cinderella – the downtrodden stepchild magically turned into a princess? And who among us doesn’t know the themes of “Ten Minutes Ago,” Do I Love You,?” and “Impossible” – the iconic songs in the musical production? And who among us doesn’t wait for the magical glass slipper to find its way to Cinderella’s foot? Well, you are all – children and adults alike – in for a new experience. An upgraded Cinderella is coming to Jerusalem for the first time for nine performances, December 12 to 20, replete with new plot lines, new songs and, yes, the famous glass slipper! The Beit Hillel Theater at Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus begins its 32nd year of community theater under the direction of Michael Berl, with a dazzling new edition of a universal fantasy at the Rachel Simon Hillel Theater at Beit Hillel, Mt. Scopus. More than 1,500 actors have graced the Hillel stage since the workshop’s inception. The production comes with stunning costumes, brilliant harmonies, original choreography and lots of modern-day fun dialogue. Past Hillel workshop credits include Fiddler on the Roof; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat; Phantom of the Opera; Guys and Dolls; Les Miserables; A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber; The Diary of Anne Frank; Ish Chassid Haya; Annie; The Wall; Lend Me a Tenor; Chorus Line; Oliver; Beauty and the Beast; West Side Story; Blood Brothers; My Fair Lady; Aida; Hello Dolly; and The Sound of Music.
“We are particularly excited to be performing this new version of Cinderella. It’s fresh, funny, poignant and has fabulous new music to embellish the Cinderella classics,” comments director Michael Berl. “There are new actors working alongside veteran Hillel thespians. Adults will love the changes, new plot and modern tone, and children will marvel at the costumes and legendary magical story. It’s really a show for all ages.”
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a musical in two acts, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Douglas Carter Beane adapted from Hammerstein’s 1957 book. The story is based upon the French Cendrillon, ou la Petite Pantoufle de Verre, by Charles Perrault. Rodgers and Hammerstein originally wrote the songs for television, and it was adapted for the stage in various versions prior to the recent Broadway production. The 2013 adaptation was the first version of Cinderella with the Rodgers and Hammerstein score mounted on Broadway. The new version introduced several new characters and a new plot line.
The updated story: The bright and beautiful young Ella lives with her wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and Madame’s three daughters, Charlotte, Gabrielle and Abigail.
Ella’s only friends are Crazy Marie (new character) and the revolutionary Jean-Michel (new character). Prince Christopher is trying to find himself and learn his place in the kingdom. The Prince’s parents have died, leaving the kingdom in the hands of Sebastian, the Prince’s mentor who has duped his young charge into approving oppressive legislation.
Cinderella opens the Prince’s eyes to the injustice in the kingdom.
And the glass slipper? Even that has a new slant. You will have to see the show to find out.
Director Michael Berl; music director Haim Tuckachinsky; Choreographer Adina Feldman; principal costume designer Dena Davies; set designer Dooby Harvey.
The cast and staff number 28 in total.
December 12 to 20 at Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem. For more information and tickets, call Revital at (02)581- 7714 or (02) 588-3902 or reserve via Fun in Jerusalem at www.funinjerusalem.com.