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REVIEW: TPAC’s ‘Cinderella’ proves fairy tale musical with refreshing twist

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center hosted a beautiful Rodgers and Hammerstein’s rendition of the classic fairy tale “Cinderella,” following up and humorously juxtaposing the broadway hit, “Dirty Dancing”.

The beautiful theater once again housed a simple, fun, illustrious musical that gripped at the hearts of those of all ages. It was wonderfully acted and presented– so much so that the childlike nature of the fairy tale is forgotten. There was a seamlessness in the performance, whereas in many representations of fairy tales the monotony of the delivery of the story is distracting.

The additions of the productions included a subplot pertaining to the ethos of social activism and change heralded by an added character named Jean Michel, your friendly neighborhood social gadfly.

While the beautiful dresses and damsel-in-distress plotlines were not lacking, the implementation of this into the fairy tale was something for the older audience to grab onto, follow and engage in. The complexity and relevance of the story was refreshing after so many musicals, plays and movies of fairy tales told the same story as the last.

If you’re thinking that those kinds of themes don’t belong in a children’s show, maybe you’re right. However, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s really hit the nail on the head in terms of providing some important, relevant messages into the entertainment for the youth of our culture. The skill it takes to tell a story that is simple and fun while incorporating issues of social justice and independence is impressive. The show ended Oct. 25. If you feel like you haven’t seen a culturally relevant or meaningful fairy tale production in a while, this was a missed opportunity. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s did it right once again.

The next Rodgers and Hammerstein’s production is Bullets Over Broadway, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10 until Nov. 15 in the Andrew Jackson Hall. Tickets are between $20 and $65, depending on seating.

This story was written by Erik Gleim.

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