Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella comes to Happy Valley

UNIVERSITY PARK – It’s not about a helpless princess or a prince who is too good to be true, anymore.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” takes on a contemporary spin to the classic tale— one whose roots were actually planted in the original story of Charles Perrault’s 1697 text.

Perrault’s Cinderella helped the prince be saved from the viciousness of the court with the kindness of her heart, as the story was written as a satire for French politics at the time.

Nevertheless, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is a story with many twists, overall presenting a more powerful and fiercely able princess.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s scores for the fairy tale were first written for a television version of Cinderella that first aired on CBS, in 1957. It was in 2013, however, when the story was given wings to fly to Broadway.

Now in 2018, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” will come to the Eisenhower Auditorium on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m., to bring magic and miracles to Happy Valley.

Leslie Jackson will be playing the Fairy God mother and she could not be more thrilled for the audience to capture “such a timeless story,” she said.

Cinderella is a beautiful show,” Jackson said. “There is a powerful message of kindness and respect for others, no matter their social or economic status, and a message of finding your voice and having confidence in yourself that you can achieve your dreams.”

Jackson loves the art of performing; she was inspired by the touring productions she has seen throughout her life in her home-town.

“I love being able to touch people. It's such an incredible honor to be able to bring an audience into the story of a show,” she said, movingly. “I love being the push Ella needs to find confidence in herself; I give her the tools and support she needs to believe and trust in herself and ultimately achieve her dreams.

It's also a lot of fun to be a part of the magical moments of the show.”

Jackson finds that both children and adults alike can enjoy the show, as the magical moments leave audience members spell-bound.

“I like that fairytales can bring us into worlds of romance and magic we don't necessarily get to experience in our daily lives,” Jackson said. “They can make you feel like a child again. Adults will love the updated humor…but they will also feel just as giddy as the children seeing such a classic and magical story come to life.”

“It's very nostalgic and heartwarming,” she exclaimed.

Act One of the show will set up the characters and provide a lens into how they live and how their stories interweave with each other.

Act Two will delve into the drama and conflict full of new plot twists and the characters will have to work together to overcome the challenges, all while finding themselves and their own happy endings.

Jackson feels that the ultimate story and fairy tale— the true magic— lies in the message of kindness that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella delivers.

“(This show conveys) kindness and respect for others no matter their gender, social or economic standing. This show has a wonderful message about the power of kindness,” Jackson said. “There is a great message of having confidence in yourself and your dreams even if they don't come easily.”

Cinderella, in this way, will be presented a tale of the power within both Feb. 20 and Feb. 21.

“(Cinderella teaches you that) if you really want to achieve something, with the confidence and drive, anything and everything is possible,” Jackson said.



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