‘Cinderella’ is a perfect fit

Happily+Ever+After%3A+Paige+Faure+%28Ella%29+and+Andy+Jones+%28Prince+Topher%29+perform+in+Rogers+and+Hammerstein%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CCinderella%E2%80%9D+at+the+Fox+Theatre+until+Feb.+1.++Courtesy+of+Megan+Ketcherside
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‘Cinderella’ is a perfect fit

Happily Ever After: Paige Faure (Ella) and Andy Jones (Prince Topher) perform in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fox Theatre until Feb. 1.  Courtesy of Megan Ketcherside

Happily Ever After: Paige Faure (Ella) and Andy Jones (Prince Topher) perform in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fox Theatre until Feb. 1. Courtesy of Megan Ketcherside

Happily Ever After: Paige Faure (Ella) and Andy Jones (Prince Topher) perform in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fox Theatre until Feb. 1. Courtesy of Megan Ketcherside

Happily Ever After: Paige Faure (Ella) and Andy Jones (Prince Topher) perform in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fox Theatre until Feb. 1. Courtesy of Megan Ketcherside

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Happily Ever After: Paige Faure (Ella) and Andy Jones (Prince Topher) perform in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fox Theatre until Feb. 1.  Courtesy of Megan Ketcherside

Happily Ever After: Paige Faure (Ella) and Andy Jones (Prince Topher) perform in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fox Theatre until Feb. 1. Courtesy of Megan Ketcherside

Over the weekend, I went with friends to see Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Fabulous Fox Theatre.  Despite my expections, this “Cinderella” is nothing like Disney’s 1997 version of “Cinderella” because the characters are much different, and they have more depth than their Disney counterparts. Yes, the concept is the same, but the story and music are entirely different.

This “Cinderella” takes the Disney “Cinderella” a step further and develops the story in a modern way. This Cinderella, played by Paige Faure, is known as Ella, and she is so much more than what you might expect from her character.  Ella is spunky, energetic and full of life. She is never down, and when she feels alone, she sings “My Own Little Corner,” one of the most famous songs from the musical.  Cinderella was never one of my favorite princesses as a child, but this new Cinderella – Ella – is wonderful and very different from the original. Her various transformations, in costume and courage, further add to the magic of the musical.

Not only was Cinderella wonderful, the music was spectacular. Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has most of the music from the Disney film, which I grew up watching. The most famous songs from the musical included “Impossible,” “My Own Little Corner” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” Ella and Crazy Marie’s (Kecia Lewis) rendition of “Impossible” was perfect.  This song is the turning point of the musical when Ella finally believes that she can do anything.

But, my favorite aspect of this musical was not only Ella’s character and the music, but one of her stepsisters, Gabrielle (Kaitlyn Davidson), and her relationship with Ella. Their relationship is not the typical Cinderella-stepsister relationship. From the beginning, it is obvious to the audience that Gabrielle never intends to be rude to Ella and feels bad for her. She never engages in ridicule and cruelty toward Ella, as her sister and mother do. Although Gabrielle does not immediately stick up for Ella, she eventually does, and they develop a healthy relationship.

This musical is one that will always be special to me for various reasons. From the music to the similarities to the film I watched as a child, to the characters, this musical is a joy. It truly brings the magic of “Cinderella” to life.