Last night I went to see my church’s youth musical production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella. They’ve really changed it in the recent reboot, so it’s not the show I remember watching on TV as a little girl or even the version I last saw at least ten years ago. There’s more of a relationship between Cinderella and the prince than I recall, and there’s a resistance movement going on. I think they may have made it a wee bit too modern because some of the jokes will have to be rewritten within a decade or so, but it was still a lot of fun.
I got a kick out of seeing how many little girls were in the audience wearing their Cinderella costumes, including one of my kindergarteners. I know when I was a kid, I’d have been eating it up. At that age, I had grand ambitions of being a Broadway star (I didn’t actually know what Broadway was, just that it had something to do with those records I liked singing with). Even now, shows like this are the one thing that makes me wish I could rewind and be a teenager again because I’d have loved to do something like this, but I lived in a very small town. I’ve joked/threatened to pretend to be a teen and audition, and have suggested we do an adult musical, but we might have a harder time getting cast members for all the adult roles.
Kids from all over town, not just from our church, can participate, and it’s fun seeing a broad cross-section of kids working together. We seemed to have more boys than usual, mostly seventh graders, so they were tiny next to the other kids (it was pretty obvious in looking at the cast the different rates at which boys and girls mature around that age), but they should have a good crop of high school boys in a few years if these guys stick with it.
Cinderella is probably my favorite fairy tale, and I like “collecting” versions of it. I like that she’s usually not going to the ball to meet a prince. She just wants a night out. She’s also a little more proactive than a lot of fairytale heroines, since she takes steps to achieve what she wants rather than lying there, sleeping, until she gets rescued. She wins because she’s a kind person.
I currently have two story ideas developing at the back of my head that are variations on the Cinderella story. One of them may become part of a series of short novels I’m thinking of doing that are kind of fairy tale retellings. I haven’t had a lot of luck with one of the short stories I wrote, and I suspect, based on audience reactions when I read it at cons, that there’s a readership for these romantic fantasy stories that aren’t exactly groundbreaking enough for the big publishers, but that might serve as good comfort reads.
But first I have to finish the book I’m working on, revise a proposal, and write at least two books and a short story before I can play with new things.
Rewatching the recent live-action Disney Cinderella might be fun for this weekend’s entertainment, though.