Cartoons, live-actions, musicals and operas – the story of Cinderella has been retold countless times.
A simple search of the movie and TV database IMDb yields hundreds of results. So why do producers and audiences keep coming back to the all-too-familiar fairy tale?
It is a Age-old story
The exact origin of the rags to riches storyline is a bit ambiguous. Some of the themes are thought to date back to ancient Greece, but one of the most popular early versions was Charles Perrault’s 1697 story.
Since then, it has been reimagined dozens of times.
The Brothers Grimm went a little darker in 1812.
The story debuted in feature film form in Walt Disney’s 1950 animation, Cinderella.
Hilary Duff’s 2004 modern take, A Cinderella Story, saw the heroine leave a cell phone at a prom, not a glass slipper.
Lily James’ 2015 live-action Cinderella was a nod to the classic. Just six years later, it was followed by singer Camila Cabello’s musical iteration.
The latest movie to be reimagined, in case fans needed another one, hit the Disney Plus streaming service earlier this month.
Sneakerella has a male lead, as well as the stepsisters and stepmother who have been traded in for male versions of the characters.
The tween-focused story received mixed reviews online.
Tony Award-winning musical opens in Melbourne
The musical rendition of acclaimed composers Rodgers and Hammerstein officially opens Thursday night in Melbourne, with some of its own modern twists.
“The version I remember as a kid was the animated movie. This version is a little different from that,” said the actor who played Ella, Shubshri Kandiah.
“She’s no longer the kind of damsel in distress we’re used to seeing in our typical princesses, but she’s a woman very much in control of her own destiny.
“She shows a lot of insecurity and is very relatable at the beginning, but where she ends, as a strong woman who knows she is enough as she is, it’s really beautiful,” Kandiah said.
The first woman of South Asian descent to play the title role
“It’s so nice to get messages on Instagram from people of South Asian descent saying it’s so exciting to see you in this role,” she said.
“A lot of people have experienced not seeing themselves on screen or on stage, so it’s nice that it’s finally coming.”
“Shrubshri opens the world to this wonderful myth that we’ve heard so many times, and she makes it her own,” said Josh Rhodes, the original Broadway choreographer.
When asked why the story stands the test of time, Rhodes said, “We always want to believe that we can always pull ourselves up. I think we’ve all been in dark places.”
“We’re trying to bring everything you want Cinderella to be, the glass slipper, the stairs, the dress, the magic, that whole story, but we’re trying to imbue it with a modern urge for independence,” said Mr. Rhodes.
“Everyone has to be a fairy godmother to someone… our job is to push kindness into the world and I think that story will go on forever.”
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