WAKEFIELD — When the Broadway version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s adaptation of “Cinderella,” with its “stunningly contemporary” take on the classic tale, opens this week at the Theater by the Sea, audiences will see an actor who got his start at the Matunuck theater company in 1985.
Gay Willis, who debuted as Tuptim in 1985’s “The King and I,” will play Cinderella’s stepmother.
The 22-member cast also includes the talents of Ophelia Rivera, who recently returned from the 25th anniversary farewell tour of “Rent,” and Aidan Cole, whose credits include Sky in “Mamma Mia!” and Emmett in “Legally Blonde.”
Rivera and Cole – as Ella and Prince Topher respectively – are both making their theatrical debuts.
The Fairy Godmother, Marie, is played by New York actress Laura Yen Solito, with Russell Garrett as Sebastian, the Prime Minister, both of whom are making their acting debuts in the theatre. Kat Gold and Kat Moser play half-sisters Charlotte and Gabrielle, respectively, with Tony Harkin as Jean-Michel and Nigel Richards as Lord Pinkleton. The cast is completed by Chloe Castellano, Cadence Collins, Tyler Dema, Zoe Gillis, Jack Gimpel, Kevin Ivey Morrison, Rebecca Murillo, Sami Murphy, Pablo Pernia, Blaise Rossmann, Rory Shirley, Wyatt Slone and Emma Wilcox.
The creative team includes resident set designer Kyle Dixon, lighting designer Elliot Konstant, sound designer Samuel Silva, as well as Tiffany Zellner, wig designer, Joel Andrew Cote, production manager; Kat Brown, assistant stage manager, and costumes provided by Tuacahn Center for the Arts.
Kenny Ingram, also making his debut, will direct and choreograph with assistance from Briana Reed. They will be joined by musical director Jacob Priddy, who is returning to acting after leading the music for popular productions of “Newsies” and “Saturday Night Fever.”
“Cinderella has been on my short list of shows to produce for a few years now and I’m thrilled that we’re finally able to bring this magical musical to life on the stage at Theater by the Sea,” the owner/producer said. Bill Hanney. “Although many people naturally assume that this is a show aimed at children, this new adaptation, which recently played on Broadway, really has something for everyone.
“While staying true to the spirit of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that people have loved for decades,” he added. “I think our audience will find this updated version of the classic to be a hit with everyone!”
The “magical production”, according to the program, “features an incredible live orchestra, breathtaking transformations and all the memorable moments, including the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masquerade ball and more – as well as new surprising twists!”
Some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner”, “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago”, will be heard in this “hilarious and romantic experience for anyone of any age who has already had a dream.”