Impossible Things Happen Every Day

There have been countless interpretations of the classic tale of “Cinderella.” There is the classic Disney film, Ella Enchanted, Pretty Woman, Cinderfella (starring Jerry Lewis in a movie with a male twist to the tale), and several others in all media. My personal favorite is the Rodgers and Hammerstein version which began as a television special in 1957 starring a young Julie Andrews (fresh from her role as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady).

I believe the role of the fairy godmother in this version is different than most interpretations. She not only creates a fancy dress, a wonderful carriage, and all the accessories to get Cinderella to the Prince’s ball; she also encourages the young lady to get up and get out of her life of servitude to her evil stepmother. “Fal-do-ral and Fiddle-de-de. Fiddly faddly foodle; All the dreamers in the world are silly in the noodle.” It is fine to dream about something but if you are unwilling to try and pursue a dream then a dream is all it will be.

Of course any musical is only as good as its supporting characters. One of the most memorable roles in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Herald. He has the dauntless task of announcing to the townspeople that “The Prince is giving a ball.” He has to sing through the mile long list that is the Prince’s name as well as the King’s and Queen’s. The Prince’s name: Christopher Rupert Vwindemere Vlademere Carl Alexander Francois Reginald Lancelot Herman. Quite a mouthful! The Queen’s name: Queen Constantina Charlotte Ermintrude Guinevere Maizie. The King’s name: King Maxmillian Godfrey Ladislaus Leopold Sydney. Hope I did not forget anyone.

This version has been made into three other films and has been staged by numerous theatres. Most recently, a version was seen on television in 1995 starring Whitney Houston, Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, AND Jason Alexander. A perfect movie for the whole family.

5 thoughts on “Impossible Things Happen Every Day”

  1. I was just reading today in the paper about a local school doing this show. Or rather, in a show of the times, the *junior* version of the show. Going off topic a little, what is with this trend to offer junior versions? Are they geared toward middle school so they are better able to perform and/or show difficult or controversial (in a children’s environment) show? I really do want to know, I’m not ranting here. If I were ranting it would be about why as far as I know the amateur rights to perform Les Mis *still* aren’t available- just Les Mis Junior and Les Mis in Concert (is anyone still doing this by the way?). It’s been twenty years since it’s release after all.

  2. I believe that “junior” shows are just that: geared toward a younger performance age. WCCT does a children’s show during the summer. Several shows have jr. versions: Joseph to name one. I think there is an Annie, Jr. However, not much in the way of controversy in either show in their original form. Must be for ease of production for age. Les Miz for High School was done in Bryan 6-7 summers ago. What IS up with the rights for Les Mis…. does popularity play a part or is it the show’s creators who have the deciding word in the rights? I know that WCCT is doing Little Women this summer (a show which had a very limited run just a few years ago).

  3. Yes Lis, I know the kids would enjoy it. Another video I could bring for a garage sale prize (no VCR to play them on). Much better than the Bye, Bye Birdie or Annie redos they attempted a few years ago.

  4. Little Women is a musical now? I didn’t know that. I suppose Little Men would have been next if Little Women was a success.

    There are no thematic difficulties for children (controversial was a bad word) in Annie? I know Oliver! gets pretty dark in the second act (I see Oliver! as the male analogue to Annie), but then again as far as I know there is no Junior version of it so just ignore this rambling altogether… In any event I suppose it could always just be ease of production (singing perhaps) as you mentioned.

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