• If the shoe fits

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    Paul John Caña

    Paul John Caña

    Most people’s idea of Cinderella stems, of course, from the iconic Disney animated film that first came out in 1950. What many people don’t know, however, is that acclaimed theater duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein also produced a musical adaptation of the fairy tale, which was based on the French story called Cendrillon by Charles Perrault.

    The musical was first broadcast on TV in 1957 and starred Julie Andrews. The iconic story of a young girl abused by her stepmother and stepsisters before she finds her Prince Charming so resonated with audiences that numerous other versions have been made through the years on stage and screen. Even Tony Award-winning musical theater artist Lea Salonga played the title character in a production in Manila in 2008.

    Resorts World Manila tapped into Filipino audiences’ familiarity with the story in deciding to produce a new stage musical adaptation of Cinderella this 2013.

    Well-known for their track record of staging grand productions like “Kaos” in 2010, the “Sound of Music” in 2011 and the “King and I” in 2012, RWM turned to theater veterans to breathe new life into the classic story of Cinderella.

    “We stayed faithful to the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella but added our own style and flavor to it,” said theater veteran Michael Williams, the musical’s director, during the press preview on Saturday (August 3). “Of course we have a stellar, all-Filipino cast who are all so talented.”

    Slipping on the glass slippers to play Cinderella is singer and actress Karylle Tatlonghari, while Prince Charming will be played by recording artist and TV and stage actor Christian Bautista. The two have worked together on numerous occasions, most recently in the Singaporean TV production of “The Kitchen Musical” and the local staging of the epic story Rama Hari.

    “It’s always nice to work with Christian,” said Karylle. “For us it’s just so natural because we already know each other so well.”

    Alternating in the role of Cinderella are new talents Julia Abueva and Justine Peña, while Fred Lo will backstep Christian as Prince Charming. Playing supporting cast members are a who’s who of local stage veterans including Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Pinky Marquez, Sweet Plantado, Sheila Francisco, Miguel Faustmann, Maronne Cruz, Gianina Ocampo and Red Concecpcion.

    The musical opens October 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila. For tickets and inquiries, visit <rwmanila.com> or call 908-8833
    Email pjcana@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @pauljohncana

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