Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was written for television. Originally aired in 1957, it was remade in 1965 and again in 1997. Each of the teleplays was slightly different, based on the original but with a few added songs – not always the same ones, but added songs nonetheless.
Teleplays adapted to the stage are never exactly what is shown on the screen. The first two stage versions – titled Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Original) and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Enchanted Edition) – are inspired by the 1957 and 1997 versions, but they are not precisely the same. No commercial breaks in the theater! You have to keep moving…
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Original), based on the 1957 version starring Julie Andrews (and the 1965 version starring Lesley Ann Warren) adheres most closely to the original teleplay. Presented in three acts, the stage adaptation includes all the songs from the telecast, along with “Boys and Girls Like You and Me,” sung by the King and Queen.
When ABC remade Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella in 1997, it featured a multiracial cast, which not only showed how universal Rodgers and Hammerstein were in the way they told their stories, but how the future could look. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Enchanted Edition) is inspired by that production – which starred Whitney Houston and Brandy – and includes some, but not all, of the additional songs used. “The Sweetest Sounds” and “There’s Music in You” are both included, along with two songs added to the 1965 remake, “Boys and Girls Like You and Me” and “Loneliness of Evening.” (“Falling in Love with Love,” a Rodgers & Hart song sung by Cinderella’s Stepmother in the 1997 TV production, is not part of this stage adaptation.)
In 2013, Cinderella finally made it to Broadway, where she had never been before. Featuring a brand-new book from librettist Douglas Carter Beane, the Broadway version added several new characters and expanded the world of the original. In addition to its contemporary feel, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Version) includes two new songs, “Me, Who Am I?” and “He Was Tall,” along with “Loneliness of Evening” and “There’s Music in You” from earlier versions.
At its core, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella remains the heartfelt tale of the girl from the cinders who connects with her prince. But each version shows her to be a little different, whether tried and true (Original), an outsider hoping to find her way in (Enchanted Edition), or forthright and kind as she tries to change the prince into a better man (Broadway Version).
All versions still have “The Prince Is Giving A Ball,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “Stepsisters’ Lament,” “When You’re Driving Through the Moonlight,” “A Lovely Night” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” – songs the world has loved since March 31, 1957, when Cinderella worked her magic on over 100 million television viewers on that one Sunday night.