Creating the magical world of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Published by Sara at 9:03 AM under Get to Know the Show

How do you create a magical world for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella? William Ivey Long, who won the Tony Award for his costumes for the show, says you have to think of it as a period piece: “It’s a fairy tale. In fact, that’s the period: fairy tale.” Long has designed 330 sumptuous period costumes for Cinderella, which is presented in Anna Louizos’ equally sumptuous forest-inspired setting. “The scale of this show is big, because it’s a grand fairy tale,” says Louizos. “This is not story-theater. It’s a Broadway show.”

Both designers say they had long discussions with director Mark Brokaw for this contemporary telling of the traditional story, which features Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic songs with a cheeky new script by playwright Douglas Carter Beane. “Mark wanted to create a whole new world that was unique to this production,” says Louizos. “Nature was very important; the thought that we would see Cinderella in the forest became a prominent component of the design.”

 Louizos says she and Brokaw sifted through a lot of visual material to share their emotional response to this version of Cinderella. “There was this image that Mark kept going back to; one of the first things he showed me – I think it was from a fashion shoot – a photograph of chandeliers hanging in a forest.” In addition, Louizos says they were both struck by another photo: “There were these depictions of a home, but the ceiling was gone and you could see the trees and vines were creeping into the house.”

 So, Louizos quite literally brought Cinderella into the woods. Cinderella, her stepmother and stepsisters live in a cottage, both surrounded by and invaded by the forest. “You can always sense nature around the house,” she says, “even the vines are crawling up and covering up some of the wallpaper.” When the scene shifts to the Prince’s palace: “It’s a more majestic depiction of nature. The trees that form the arches are kind of a silvery brown. I wanted to give it a slight metallic feel, or a shimmery feel to it.” And, of course, there are chandeliers in Louizos’ forest castle, just like the picture which served as inspiration.

 William Ivey Long’s costumes – which reference medieval knights, the Flemish painter Breughel, and the French court of Catherine de Medici – are also inspired by nature. One of the main colors he uses is leaf green. “The whole world of Cinderella takes place in the forest,” he says, showing ink costume sketches in his Tribeca studio. “There are dragons, and, of course, going and collecting mushrooms. And when you start with the forest, that means everything’s growing, and flora and fauna, and so, by extension, butterflies and moths.”

 Of course, butterflies and moths transform from caterpillars, and transformation is a big theme in Cinderella. Long has designed jaw-dropping costume changes in both acts, where Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother go from rags to ball gowns in the blink of an eye, right in front of the audience. How are these changes accomplished? Long won’t say: “I would have to kill you, if I told you,” he laughs, but he shows his initial sketches of how Cinderella’s costume morphs: “The idea is that all the changing is done by a magic wand spinning her around. So, I tried to include the spinning in all these sketches, so you constantly saw movement. And doesn’t that sort of look like you’re whipping up a merengue?”

 Anna Louizos, of course, with the help of smoke and lights, has a pumpkin transform into a carriage. And her forest constantly shifts and reconstitutes itself into new settings. She says the basic idea of putting Cinderella in a world filled with moving trees has captivated audiences. “There’s something so breathtaking about seeing nature onstage,” she explains. “You can go outside the door of the theater and there’s nature, but somehow when you put it onstage, it creates a different visceral response in audience members.”

And, Louizos adds, she thinks this version of Cinderella is a fairy tale that will appeal to everyone: “We approached it as any other brand new musical. It’s not a children’s show; it’s a Broadway show that adults should be able to appreciate and enjoy and be entertained just as much as children would.” 

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The Cinderella Project

Published by Sara at 7:57 AM under Special Offers

Make a dream come true and WIN four tickets to the opening night of Cinderella!

Every young lady deserves to feel like Cinderella at her prom! The Cinderella Project provides prom dresses to young women in the St. Louis region who cannot purchase a formal. The Cinderella Project is sponsored by the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, and the young women are referred by high school counselors.

You can help by digging into your closet for dresses that will make a young lady’s dream come true! Plus sizes are particularly needed, and don’t forget about accessories!

Donations can be made any time before January 18th at the store managed by the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition:

REFRESH: A Fashion-Forward Resale Boutique 1710 S. Brentwood Blvd. Brentwood, MO 63144 314-881-0331. Monday - Saturday, 10:00 to 6:00 Sunday, noon to 5:00.

Thank you for helping make wishes and dreams come true!


What's Hot on Broadway: On The Town

Published by Sara at 10:11 AM under What's Hot on Broadway

You haven’t seen the real New York until you see On the Town! Broadway’s musical and comedy classic is the biggest, brightest, and brassiest musical to open in years! The show will take your breath away! On the Town has a 30-member cast, with the biggest orchestra all combined with New York’s most talented singers and dancers and if that’s not enough, the lyrics alone can draw in the audience. This Broadway show is about three American sailors on a 24-hour shore leave during the war in 1944. All three of these sailors get the chance to explore the town and maybe even find the love of their life in the city that never sleeps.

Directed by Tony® winner JOHN RANDO (A Christmas Story) and choreographed by Emmy® winner JOSHUA BERGASSE ("Smash"), this big, brassy musical comedy features LEONARD BERNSTEIN’s “rapturous and red-blooded score” (Daily News), lyrics by COMDEN AND GREEN, and breathtaking dancing inspired by the original JEROME ROBBINS choreography. ON THE TOWN is "a helluva show!" (Variety).



Fabulous Holiday Decorations

Published by Sara at 8:43 AM under

Have you ever wondered how the Fox transforms from a fabulous theatre to a winter wonderland each holiday season? The holiday display you see this season starts the year before and is designed by Cindy Vargo, Director of Sales and Membership at the Fabulous Fox.  As the decorations are coming down in January, Cindy begins planning the next fabulous display! Cindy starts the planning process by walking through the Fabulous Fox and considering the current decorations before the embellishments are put away for the season.

Cindy may oversee the decorations, but decorating the Fabulous Fox is a collaborative process. Cindy regularly presents her ideas and sketches to staff and colleagues and asks for their input. Cindy and Mary Strauss, who restored the Fabulous Fox Theatre, worked together to create the beautiful display of trees in the lobby. After Cindy developed the idea, Mary suggested adding disco balls with a spotlight to create a snow effect. The display of trees is one of the most photographed holiday spectacles at the Fabulous Fox. Cindy also consults with several interior designers, including her friend Tracy, to select timeless décor to incorporate into the displays.Holiday decorations in the Fabulous Fox lobby.

With the size and grandeur of the Fox, there are challenges to overcome when designing and decorating. One of the most significant challenges is lighting. The Fabulous Fox is beautiful when draped in lights, but the building was constructed before electricity was introduced so there are many places without access to electricity. Another challenge includes the theatrical lighting; when decorating with certain colors, the theatrical lighting may alter the hue of the color. The gorgeous turquoise you see in Peacock Alley is actually a pale blue, but under the lighting it transforms into the perfect shade of turquoise. Finding the right color in the beginning is very important.

When designing the decorations, Cindy considers the beautiful architecture. With the elaborate ornamentation in the theatre, it would be easy for the decorations to overwhelm the grandeur, instead, Cindy works to enhance the beauty of the theatre with the decorations. Ultimately, Cindy wants people to look at the decorations and stop, reminisce, and reflect on memories. The Playbill tree on the third floor is a great example of the decorations Cindy includes that create opportunities for guests to have memories when they come to the theatre.

All of Cindy’s hard work pays off. The Fabulous Fox is transformed into a beautiful, magical Christmas experience for all who visit during the holidays. From the gorgeous decorations in Peacock Alley, to the 11 trees in the lobby, all of the holiday decorations enhance the beauty of the Fox. 


Fabulous Fox Theatre 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Fabulous Gift Ideas

Published by Sara at 9:25 AM under

This holiday season, a ticket to the Fabulous Fox Theatre is the perfect gift for everyone on your list! With so many excellent upcoming shows, we have something fabulous for everyone!

A night at the Fox is a wonderful memory that will last a lifetime. Treat someone special to a night out in Grand Center, visiting one of the restaurants in the arts and life district before seeing a show at the Fabulous Fox. Here are our suggestions for a festive holiday evening that will be the perfect present for friends and family.

Rock n’ Roll with Million Dollar Quartet and Pappy’s Smokehouse

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical, inspired by the electrifying true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.

Start the night with a visit to Pappy’s Smokehouse for award winning, Memphis style barbeque.  Whether you want a slab of ribs or a pulled pork sandwich, Pappy’s offers a wide variety of barbeque favorites and home cooked style side dishes. Try one of St. Louis’ best barbeque restaurants before a night at the Fox!

Now go, cat, go! MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET returns to the Fabulous Fox February 27-March 1!

Feel the Noise of Stomp and Enjoy The Field House

STOMP is explosive, inventive, provocative, witty, and utterly unique—an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. The international percussion sensation has garnered armfuls of awards and rave reviews and has appeared on numerous national television shows. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms.

Begin your fantastic night at the theatre with a trip to The Field House. This sports pub and grill will get you stomping for Stomp!

See STOMP when it returns to the Fabulous Fox April 10-12!

Travel to Old Hollywood with The Rat Pack is Back and Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria

What happens in Vegas...all started with THE RAT PACK. This spirited show recreates one of the famous “Summit at the Sands” nights when swingin’, ring-a-ding group known as “THE RAT PACK” was creating hipster legend with a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred nightclub act starring Vegas’ four favorite sons: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and Joey Bishop. Produced by Dick Feeney, THE RAT PACK IS BACK features uncanny vocal recreations, unbridled humor, and a hot, live 12-piece orchestra that sends audiences straight back to the coolest time in history. Hits include “That’s Amore,” “My Way,” “Mr. Bojangles,” and many more.

Begin the night with a visit to Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria in Midtown. Get into the old Hollywood spirit with one of Vito’s famous pizzas and Sicilian inspired drinks.  The patio at Vito’s is the perfect destination for a night under the stars.

Don’t miss THE RAT PACK when the show visits the Fabulous Fox May 15-17. 

If you’re not sure which show to choose, gift certificates to the Fabulous Fox Theatre are always a great option!

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