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Thursday, November 24, 2011


(Pic by Val Adamson: Ryan Flynn and Nondumiso Tembe as the prince and Cinderella)

Promising to be the hottest ticket in town is the Playhouse Company’s Cinderella, opening on Saturday to run over the festive season. This will be the first-ever production to be staged anywhere in Africa of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s magical musical.

With music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, adapted for the stage by Tom Briggs from the teleplay by Robert L. Freedman, this year’s flagship stage production boasts spectacular sets and colourful costumes. It also contains great songs, dazzling dance sequences and a whole of fun.

Added to that is an all-star cast directed by leading South African stage luminary, Ralph Lawson with live accompaniment by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Originally created as a star vehicle for Julie Andrews in 1957, Cinderella boasts all the hall-marks of wonderful songs and lavish dance numbers and sensational scenic effects 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 evergreen 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.

Cinderella is designed by veteran theatre designer and legendary conjurer of magical effects, Keith Anderson, and choreography is by David Gouldie.

Starring in the title role 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 soon.

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

Cinderella runs in the Playhouse Opera Theatre until December 31. Booking is at Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at Block bookings at discounted ticket prices and charity preview tickets November on 24 and 25 from Computicket or Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 (office hours).