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The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. Its recreation in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren was no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true, and so was a second remake in 1997, which starred Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits.Synopsis complet
By today’s standards, it is almost impossible to conceive. The broadcast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA starring Julie Andrews on CBS-TV, March 31, 1957, was seen by the largest audience in the history of the planet at the time: 107,000,000 people in the USA, representing 60% of the country’s population at that time, and another 10,000,000 or so stretching from Canada to Cuba. It was an Event, a golden moment in the Golden Age of television. In an era when Broadway still commanded attention, this was a Broadway-caliber musical by Broadway’s most successful duo, starring Broadway’s brightest new talent. Broadcast night was opening night, and everyone in America was invited to attend.
Génèse du musical
In 1956 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd were indisputably the world’s most successful writers of musicals. Julie Andrews was a sparkling new star, having just triumphed in MY FAIR LADY. When her agent approached Rodgers and Hammerstein and suggested that the television audience would welcome a musical version of Cinderella, it was an irresistible temptation for all.
Everything about the project was right from the start. The CBS production team was quickly assembled. Richard Lewine, a distant cousin of Rodgers and a close friend, was the producer, Ralph Nelson the director. Howard Lindsay and his wife, Dorothy Stickney, were signed for the King and Queen; Jon Cypher played the Prince; the Stepmother and Stepsisters were made less frightening and more comic by Ilka Chase, Kaye Ballard, and Alice Ghostley; rather than the standard old crone, the beautiful Edi Adams played the Godmother.
Rodgers and Hammerstein approached the story with the honesty and simplicity that characterized all their work. They purposely did not seek to improve a story they felt was dramatically sound, as many writers are prone to do, instead concentrating on bringing the characters to life. Rodgers wrote in his autobiography Musical Stages, “In writing the story and the songs, Oscar and I felt that it was important to keep everything as traditional as possible, without any ‘modernizing’ or reaching for psychological significance.” When Hammerstein was asked where he found the version of Cinderella story he based his adaptation upon, he answered, “I looked it up in the encyclopedia.”
The marriage of music, lyrics and story in CINDERELLA exemplifies their artistic philosophy that seemed so revolutionary in OKLAHOMA! and so natural with their latest show, THE SOUND OF MUSIC that it had become the form of most musicals. All elements held together integrally to illuminate the characters. As Rodgers explained, “Although a few of its songs have become popular, our score for CINDERELLA is another example of what theatre music is really about. No matter what the medium, a score is more than a collection of individual songs. It is, or should be, a cohesive entity whose word and music are believable expressions of the characters singing them. When the lonely, bullied heroine sings “In My Own Little Corner,” it’s not merely a song, it’s a revelation of the girl herself. When she finishes, we know something more about her than we had before—her sense of humor, her naïve optimism, her imagination and her relationship to the rest of her family. It is fair to say that this song is familiar to a vast number of people, but it has never made anyone’s hit parade and never will; it is simply part of a score, and it is the score in toto that either succeeds or fails. Like a symphony, concerto or opera, some portions have greater appeal than others, but it is the work as a whole that makes the overall impression.”
CINDERELLA in toto succeeded. When it was broadcast on March 31, 1957, it was viewed by more people than any other program in the history of television.
Liste des chansons
"The Prince Is Giving a Ball" (Herald and Chorus)
"Cinderella March" (instrumental)
"In My Own Little Corner" (Cinderella)
"The Prince Is Giving a Ball" (Reprise) (Chorus)
"Your Majesties" (Royal Dressing Room Scene) (King, Queen, Chef, Steward)
"In My Own Little Corner" (Reprise) (Cinderella)
"Impossible; It's Possible" (Cinderella and Fairy Godmother)
"Ten Minutes Ago I Saw You" (Prince and Cinderella)
"Stepsisters' Lament" (Stepsisters)
"Waltz for a Ball" (instrumental and Chorus)
"Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" (Prince and Cinderella)
"Never In a Thousand Years" (eventually omitted from the production)
"When You're Driving Through the Moonlight" (Cinderella, Stepmother, Stepsisters)
"A Lovely Night" (Cinderella, Stepmother, Stepsisters)
"The Search" (instrumental)
"Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" (reprise) (Prince)
"Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" (reprise) (Chorus)
Textes disponibles on-line
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Versions majeures de Cinderella
Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Cinderella
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