I've a style all my own
And I will not change it for you
Wild and free Cinderella
You can laugh, you can groan
If you think I won't ignore you
I think “poor you”!"
Cinderella (also advertised as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella) is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with a book by Emerald Fennell and lyrics by David Zeppel. It is a comedic spin on the fairy tale of the same name. It premiered on the West End in August 2021 accompanied by a concept album sung by the cast. The West End run closed in June 2022, after which a Broadway transfer was announced with the new title of Bad Cinderella.
The musical is set in the picturesque and image-obsessed town of Belleville, whose residents look forward to winning the Most Attractive Town award for the 50th year in a row. However, when they lose the award due to vandalism, the townspeople turn against the foulmouthed rebel Cinderella, who lives with her cruel stepmother and her two stepsisters. Meanwhile, in an effort to restore Belleville's reputation, the Queen announces a royal ball during which her remaining son Prince Sebastian might find a bride.
But while Cinderella might not be a wide-eyed maiden and her childhood friend Prince Sebastian not his popular missing brother Prince Charming, there are still balls, and fairy godmothers of a sort, and glass slippers, and maybe even a Happily Ever After.
Not to be confused with Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein), a prior stage adaptation of the story.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Cinderella is not like the image-obsessed town of Belleville. The townspeople disdain her for not caring about fashion or vanity and for being foulmouthed and rebellious.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Cinderella is childhood friends with Prince Sebastian, having bonded over being misfits in Belleville. They start the show hiding their mutual feelings for each other and end it by running away together.
- Enemy Mine: After one of Cinderella's stepsisters, Adele, becomes engaged to the prince, the other stepsister, Marie, encourages Cinderella to sabotage the wedding despite being antagonistic to her for the first half of the show. Marie says that she hates Stepmother like Cinderella does and doesn't want to remain second fiddle to Adele.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: The story is still about a girl named Cinderella with a Wicked Stepmother who is transformed to go to a ball and gets with a prince. But Cinderella's now a goth rebel, the prince Sebastian is an unpopular nerd, the fairy godmother is a plastic surgeon, Cinderella's dance with the prince is the lowest point of their relationship, Prince Charming is gay and marries a man, and finally, rather than become Queen at the end, Cinderella runs away with her prince.
- "I Am" Song: The song "Bad Cinderella", where the heroine asserts herself against the simpering villagers and sings about how she doesn't care if they hate her.
- Love Is a Weakness: Unlike the traditional ingenue Cinderella, this version is cynical about love. She talks about how it destroyed her father twice over and resolves not to fall in love herself.
- The Makeover: The Fairy Godmother's transformation of Cinderella, rather than magic, is primping her and dressing her up to be conventionally attractive like the rest of Belleville.
- Meaningful Name: The Duc de Violette is gay. Violets were historically associated with homosexuals.
- Mythology Gag: The opening to this Cinderella story is a modulation of a snippet of "In My Own Little Corner", a song from Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein). The same melody appears multiple times in the "I Am" Song "Bad Cinderella".
- Prince Charming: Prince Charming is the favored son and heir of the queen, a handsome and strapping young land adored throughout the land. However, he's now vanished and the Spare to the Throne is seen as a lame nerd in comparison.
- Pun-Based Title: The opening song "Buns 'N Roses" is a pun on Guns N' Roses.
- Rated M for Manly: The men of the kingdom sing "Man's Man" in adulation of the vanished Prince Charming, who was incredibly buff and handsome, a great warrior, and that every woman wanted him and every man wanted to be his friend. It turns out that he's a "man's man" in more ways than one.Hunks: This guy really had the sizzle
Every sculptor would grab his chisel when they saw that face
Let's cut to the chase, he was a swashbuckling, mead-swilling
Virile, strapping, lady-killing
Man's, man's, very tan man
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Unlike in most versions, Cinderella isn't considered beautiful by the characters at the beginning, since she doesn't fit in with their primped, flawless beauty standards. Instead, the Fairy Godmother gives her an extreme makeover, at the end of which she sees herself as "ravishing". Sebastian does not recognize her at the ball.
- Spare to the Throne: Prince Sebastian's older brother Prince Charming is gone, meaning Sebastian was shoved into the position of heir.Sebastian: Now that I'm next in line
I've had to grow up
Cinderella: Now you're crown prince fancy pants
Sebastian: I never saw that coming
- The Unfavorite: The Queen makes it no secret in "Man's Man" that she favors Sebastian's brother Charming over him, but now that Charming's disappeared, the kingdom has to make do with him.
- Why Don't You Marry It?: When Cinderella tells her gold-digging family that Sebastian is more than his throne, they laugh at her.Adele: If you like him so much why don't you marry him?
- Wicked Stepmother: Cinderella' Stepmother, as usual, doesn't care about her beyond her servant status. In her introductory song "Unfair" she berates Cinderella, insults her looks and sense of fashion, and orders her to clean the chamber pot.
- You Need a Breath Mint: During "So Long" Cinderella insults Sebastian's breath.Cinderella: Ugh, you know, you use your breath as a defense mechanism to stop people from getting too close to you.