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Trivia / Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein)

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The 1957 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's version contains examples of:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Edie Adams' baton-twirling skills resulted in the Fairy Godmother twirling her magic wand to cast her spells.
  • Blooper: During a reprise of "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?", the camera closes up on Queen Constantina preparing to sing a line, but Prince Christopher interrupts. Jon Cypher apologized to Dorothy Stickney later that night and even cried Tears of Remorse in his dressing room over the mistake.
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  • Follow the Leader: CBS hired Rodgers and Hammerstein to help them compete against NBC's televised presentations of Peter Pan by writing a work in which Julie Andrews would go from Rags to Riches in a manner similar to her most popular role at the time.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The DVD has gone out of print, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization has no plans as of February 2021 to post the kinescope online.
  • Missing Episode: People living on the East Coast saw the musical live in color, while those in the west saw a black-and-white kinescope. The DVD only contains the latter version.
  • Production Posse: King Maximilian's actor, Howard Lindsay, also co-wrotenote  the libretto for the final Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music; its movie adaptation would also reunite Julie Andrews and Richard Rodgers.
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  • Real-Life Relative: Howard Lindsay and his wife Dorothy Stickney portrayed King Maximilian and Queen Constantina.

The 1965 remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's version contains examples of:

  • Billing Displacement: The opening and end credits both give Ginger Rogers (Queen Constantina) top billing, while relegating Lesley Ann Warren to eighth place. The 1987 Playhouse Video VHS cover bumped Warren up to fifth place, with the names of Walter Pidgeon (King Maximilian), Celeste Holm (the Fairy Godmother), and Stuart Damon (Prince Christopher) in between those of Rogers and Warren. The 2002 Columbia/Tristar DVD covernote  gave Warren fourth place, by leaving off Damon's name.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Famous dancer Ginger Rogers, then in her fifties, plays the Queen. When the King suggests a dance after she remains seated for most of the ball sequence, she all but winks at the viewer while commenting that she thought he'd never ask.
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    • "A Lovely Night" had the step-family's part and the melancholy portion replaced with an upbeat instrumental, allowing Lesley Ann Warren to demonstrate her ballet talents.
  • Channel Hop:
    • After CBS stopped showing this musical, it resurfaced on some cable channels, such as The Disney Channelnote  and Hallmark Channel.
    • Home video rights have shifted from CBS/Fox Videonote , to Hallmark Home Entertainment, to Sony Picturesnote .
  • Edited for Syndication: The first DVD was sourced from a tape containing some trims, especially during Cinderella's and Prince Christopher's first meeting. The second DVD, sourced from the master tapes, put all the edited footage back in.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Sony-owned Columbia Pictures released a DVD in 2002, but pulled it out of print after a few years. Shout! Factorynote  subverted this in 2014, re-releasing the special on DVD. Years later, they also made it the first R&H Cinderella available for digital download and streaming.
  • Milestone Celebration: The 2014 cast of the Broadway version, headlined by Keke Palmer, celebrated the '65 remake's 50th anniversary by inviting Lesley Ann Warren to join the Curtain Call, where she led them in a performance of "It's Possible".
  • Playing Gertrude: The stepsisters' actresses, Pat Carroll (Prunella) and Barbara Ruick (Esmeralda), were only 12-15 years younger than their mother's actress, Jo Van Fleet.
  • Production Posse:
    • Before Celeste Holm became Cinderella's fairy godmother, she appeared in the first Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma!, as Broadway's original Ado Annie.
    • Barbara Ruick played Carrie in the film version of R&H's Carousel before playing Esmeralda.
    • The "dreamy-eyed" peasant girl's father, Bill Lee, also sang in the movie versions of South Pacific and The Sound of Music, dubbing over John Kerr and Christopher Plummer.
    • After Stuart Damon played Prince Christopher, he eventually reunited with Richard Rodgers for the original Broadway production of Do I Hear a Waltz?
  • Reality Subtext: According to director Charles S. Dubin, Jo Van Fleet developed a real-life jealousy for Lesley Ann Warren's beauty while portraying the stepmother.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • CBS originally cast Jack Jones as the prince, but replaced him with Stuart Damon when they realized Jones' singing voice sounded more appropriate for pop music.
    • Lesley Ann Warren almost lost the role of Cinderella, when the large number of crew members watching her audition intimidated her into delivering a weak performance. After Charles S. Dubin convinced Rodgers to give Warren another chance, Rodgers privately coached her to sing "My Funny Valentine", and she impressed him enough to secure the part of Cinderella.

The 1997 remake of the Rodgers and Hammerstein version contains examples of:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Whoopi Goldberg insisted that Queen Constantina wear real Harry Winston jewelry, as opposed to the fake jewelry the costume department originally provided for her.
  • All-Star Cast: This version stars Brandy, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters, Victor Garber, and Whitney Houston.
  • Billing Displacement: Brandy's name is last in the credits (among the leads). Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander, and Bernadette Peters come first. Although the opening credits start with Brandy's name and go through the rest in alphabetical order.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • The fairy godmother usually only sings "Impossible/It's Possible" and one line at Cinderella's wedding (the same line which ends those songs), but Whitney Houston closes this remake with another song, "There's Music in You." It originally came from an obscure MGM musical titled, Main Street to Broadway. She also gets an Adaptational Early Appearance before the main titles roll.
    • Whoopi Goldberg also gets to do more singing than either of the queens before her. She starts off "The Prince is Giving a Ball", and replaces Prince Christopher as the performer of the reprise of "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" (presumably renamed, "Do You Love Her Because She's Beautiful?").
  • Channel Hop: Originally pitched as CBS' follow-up to 1993's highly-rated Gypsy Made-for-TV Movie. However, after some new CBS executives expressed disinterest in another Cinderella, the producers accepted an offer from Disney CEO/Wonderful World of Disney host Michael Eisner to air it on ABC instead.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted when the producers asked Whitney Houston if she wanted to play Cinderella, but by the time the project Channel Hopped to ABC, she deemed herself too old for the part.
  • Descended Creator: Executive Producer Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Atlantic Records stopped Disney from commercially releasing the soundtrack, deeming it too contradictory to the "Urban" image they wanted Brandy and her music to uphold. However, a rip of an unreleased CD has made its way to the Internet.
  • Milestone Celebration: Twenty years after this remake first aired, Shondaland reunited cast and crew to share an oral history of the production.
  • Playing Against Type: Downplayed. Jason Alexander insisted that Lionel have a different sense of humor than George Costanza. He's still a Butt-Monkey like George, however.
  • Role Reprise: Paolo Montalban would later play Prince Christopher again in a 2001 touring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The project was first pitched in 1993, with the prospect of Whitney Houston playing Cinderella. But production was delayed until 1996, by which point Houston felt she was too old to play Cinderella and recommended Brandy instead.
    • An executive wary on the marketability of an African-American Cinderella suggested casting Jewel instead, but the producers never asked her, likely to avoid depicting Whitney Houston as a Magical Negro.
    • The producers first pitched the role of the stepmother to Whoopi Goldberg, but her schedule wouldn't allow her to accept the role. The offer went next to Bette Midlernote , but she feared that abusing an African-American Cinderella on TV would ruin her public image. Bernadette Peters took the part because she didn't believe fairy tale characters' skin tones should matter; the final film cast Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle as the stepsisters as a reminder to the viewers.
    • The producers planned a Remake Cameo for Julie Andrews, when she became their first choice to play Queen Constantina. Unfortunately, the botched surgery of her vocal cords left her unable to accept the role.
    • The film earned a standing ovation at its Mann's Chinese Theatre premiere, so Disney tested giving it a wider theatrical release. However, a test screening in Pasadena didn't prove successful enough to justify it.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber speculate in the DVD bonus features that Queen Constantina had her own Rags to Royalty story when she fell in love with King Maximilian, and admit that this headcanon influenced their performances.

The 2013 stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's version contains examples of:

  • Older Than They Think: The name "Charlotte" for the meaner of the two stepsisters was originally used by Andrew Lang in his translation of Charles Perrault's classic version of the tale in The Blue Fairy Book in 1889. (Her name in Perrault's French text is "Javotte.")

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