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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


(Pic by Val Adamson: Nondumiso Tembe as Cinderella)

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical debuts at The Playhouse this festive season.

As this year’s main-stage festive season production in Durban, The Playhouse Company is proud to produce the South African premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Cinderella, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, adapted for the stage by Tom Briggs from the teleplay by Robert L. Freedman.

Originally created for television as a star vehicle for Julie Andrews in 1957 (when its broadcast was seen by 100 million viewers), Cinderella boasts all the hallmarks of wonderful songs and lavish dance numbers associated with the classic works of its creators, who are widely acknowledged as the all-time ‘Kings of Broadway’.

With a joint track record that embraced such ever-green hit stage shows and movies such as Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, the pair garnered a string of accolades between them, including 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammys.

Heading The Playhouse Company’s creative team of this glittering big-stage version of the world’s best-loved rags-to-riches fable is leading South African stage luminary, Ralph Lawson (director), with veteran theatre designer and legendary conjurer of magical effects, Keith Anderson.

The production promises high-voltage delivery of the wow factor that spells the magic of theatre as is seldom seen these days - with mice turning into ponies onstage, a pumpkin into Cinderella’s coach, and the Fairy Godmother appearing out of nowhere, among its many special effects. These dazzling production values, coupled with the message of hope that lies at the core of the Cinderella fable, will offer an unforgettable festive experience.

Starring in the title role of Cinderella is the multi-talented young South African actress-singer-dancer, Nondumiso Tembe, who recently made waves in national music circles with the release of her debut CD album, Izwi Lami (My Voice). Ms Tembe is currently based in Los Angeles in the United States, where she has recently been shooting several episodes of the popular TV series, True Blood (Series 4), due to be screened in South Africa in 2012.

The role of Christopher, a charming young prince, will be played alternately by Ryan Flynn and Cobus Venter. Multiple-award-winning actress Lisa Bobbert will play Cinderella’s stepmother, Krystle Temmerman is Grace (Cinderella’s awkward stepsister), Clare Mortimer takes the role of Joy (her sullen stepsister), Lauren Dasappa will appear as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. Other principal casting includes Ralph Lawson as King Maximillian, Marion Loudon as Queen Constantia, and Darren King as Lionel. Choreography will be by David Gouldie.

Cinderella will be performed to live accompaniment by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in the Playhouse Opera Theatre from November 26 to December 31, 2011. Pre-booked tickets range from R80 to R120 (tickets purchased an hour before performances range from R90 to R130). Book now through Computicket 0861915 8000 or, or call 031-369 9540 /9695 (office hours).