SCRANTON — Mice that change into horses? Check.
A pumpkin transformed into a coach?
A fairy godmother who knows how to give a girl a boost when she needs one? Check.
“The magic and romance are all there,” said Joanna Johnson, who will appear as a stepsister named Charlotte when Broadway in Scranton brings Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” to the Scranton Cultural Center March 17-19.
Along with the drama, love and promise of happy-ever-aftering you’ve come to expect in the traditional fairy tale, Johnson said, this version of the story has added dimensions to Cinderella’s character.
“She’s not just a pretty face,” Johnson said. “She’s smart and politically motivated and above all, a kind, good person.
“In the end, Cinderella really saves the prince as much as he saves her,” Johnson continued. “It has to do with political upheaval and gently guiding him in the right direction.”
Perhaps the prince has been unable to rule as wisely as he should, perhaps because his main adviser shields him from what’s really happening across the land.
“It’s an un-named, vaguely — probably — Europeanish country,” Johnson said, adding it’s not France even though the names of several characters, from stepsister Gabrielle to stepsister’s love interest Jean-Michel, have a French flavor.
Jean-Michel has some revolutionary ideas about helping the poor, Johnson said, and sparks Cinderella’s interest in how other people around the world live.
As for Cinderella’s stepsisters Charlotte and Gabrielle, Johnson said, “They’re not the traditional, malicious, jealous types. My character is just a little too self-involved to know Cinderella’s being treated poorly by the stepmother.”
Yes, Madam, the stepmother, is a villain. Somebody has to be.
And, Johnson added, the music and dancing are a delight.
“My favorite number that I’m not in is ‘Impossible,’ the song where the fairy godmother is revealed and says she’s going to make all your dreams come true. My favorite number to do is ‘A Lovely Night,’ where we all reminisce about the time we had at the ball.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMTcomments powered by Disqus