Broadway Across America aims to add to the delight and wonderment of this time of year by reminding us that dreams can come true. Cinderella fits the quintessential bill of a fairy tale, showing audiences that sometimes the impossible is possible.
"Everyone wants to believe that they are capable of anything they put their mind to," says Leslie Jackson, who will play Ella's (as in, Cinderella) fairy godmother, Marie, in Cinderella during its limited engagement at Bass Concert Hall December 6-11. "We want to believe that our dreams can become a reality, and Ella's story is just that."
Though it's based on the time-honored rags-to-riches tale and holds onto the iconic slippers, royal balls, and magical transformations, this modern version adds some more contemporary elements and themes, including wanting to make the world a better place.
"Ella is a strong believer that everyone deserves kindness and compassion and becomes the voice for the outsiders, the poor, and the unheard voices in her village," says Jackson. “What truly grabs the prince's attention is her kindness and devotion to helping those others would typically ignore." Jackson’s character is a village outsider Ella befriends. In return, Marie helps Ella realize her own strengths to overcome the obstacles in her life.
While maintaining the classic storyline, this version also features additional characters, a few surprise twists, some clever wit, and a beautiful score by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which includes a few new songs.
Jackson, whose credits include Ragtime, West Side Story, and the Secret Garden, says she's faced her own Cinderella moments during her career. "As an actor, you can repeatedly be turned down. I have definitely lacked confidence in myself and my dreams at times ... sometimes your biggest obstacle is yourself," she confesses.
The actress, who grew up in Houston, is excited to make a return to her home state so that she can reunite with family and friends. "I'm so excited... I can't wait for them to see this beautiful production!"
She says whether you are a romantic, dreamer at heart, or just like to be entertained, Cinderella is sure to delight. "This [is] a great show for all ages," explains Jackson. "It has something for everyone: sass and wit, clever contemporary themes and references, and, of course, magic and romance. It's a show you will fall in love with again and again!"
See Cinderella at Bass Concert Hall December 6-11.