By Marci Miller

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball 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. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

We recently spoke with Kaitlyn Davidson who steps into the glass slippers in the title role of Cinderella, which she also understudied in the Broadway production.

What makes this production of Cinderella different than others done before it?

Our Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the same fairytale you know and love but with some really fun twists! I love how clever, hilarious, romantic and genuinely heartwarming our show is! Our story reveals some new characters as well as fleshes out the journey of those you already know. There are many beloved interpretations of this story, and I think ours is incredibly witty and uplifting.

The description of the show says it’s “surprisingly contemporary”….can you give us a hint of what audiences may experience?

We have a wonderful new script by Douglas Carter Beane and he seamlessly marries the style of “In a Kingdom very far away” with our 21st century sensibilities. Ella (Cinderella) is not only kind, but is also intelligent and brave. She is a great role model for young girls. The Prince is on his own journey of self-discovery, as well! Their story has more layers. There are references and jokes in the script that are contemporary but never take you out of the style of the show.

How did it feel when you found out you got the role of Cinderella? Had you always dreamed of playing a princess?

I actually went into a little bit of shock. I kept asking my agent on the phone, “Really? REALLY?!!” I was dumbfounded for a bit, then I was really giddy. I’ve been playing Cinderella for about two weeks now, and it still feels surreal. I was absolutely one of those little girls who wanted to BE a princess. Now to be playing one? I’m beside myself.

Other famous stars who have played Cinderella in the Rodgers & Hammerstein version of the show include Julie Andrews, Lesley Ann Warren and Brandy….how much pressure to you feel to live up to these other performers?

I admire those women greatly! Each their own radiant Cinderella. We have amazing producers and an incredible creative team, and I have never been made to feel I needed to recreate someone else’s performance (not that I could if I tried!). We’re telling such a beautiful story, and I simply have to trust that I’m sharing it to the best of my ability.

What is your favorite production number which you perform in?

I love the waltz in “Ten Minutes Ago” at the ball. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I love dancing. It’s personally one of the more challenging numbers for me, but ultimately that makes it the most rewarding in my book!

Does the show play well to all audiences? How has the reaction been each night?

This show is for EVERYONE. My friends and family who have seen the show are always so surprised at how funny it is! You’re laughing one minute and holding your breath the next. The audiences have been lovely in every city. I love the connection we make with them!

Why do people love the story of Cinderella as much as they do?

Well, I’m not sure I can speak for everyone, but I love the story because I find it incredibly satisfying to see someone who starts with so little achieve so much, and I’m not talking about material things or ball gowns! Ella is kind to all, even when they are not kind to her. The compassion she shows, the genuine interest she takes in the well-being of others and the world she lives in is contagious. She learns to believe in herself and her worth, and her courage to be kind lifts her out of a life of misery and into a new one, where she loves and is loved. Who doesn’t want a Happily Ever After? And magic. Lots of magic.

Cinderella plays November 3 – 8 at The Fox Theatre. For tickets and more information visit FoxTheatre.org/Cinderella



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