Producers John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia and Lyndon Terracini for Opera Australia have announced that acclaimed actor Nicholas Hammond will play the role of the Lord Chancellor, Sebastian, for the Brisbane and Sydney seasons of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, taking over from Todd McKenney who will play Sebastian in Melbourne.
An actor and writer, Nicholas Hammond is best known for his roles as Friedrich von Trapp in the film The Sound of Music and as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the 1970s television series The Amazing Spider-Man.
His many film and TV appearances include Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Love Boat, Magnum PI, Murder She Wrote and recurring roles on Falcon Crest and Dallas, as well as The Challenge, Fields of Fire and Farscape in Australia.
The stellar cast of this lavish production will be led by Shubshri Kandiah as Ella (Cinderella), Ainsley Melham as Prince Topher, Silvie Paladino as Marie, the Fairy Godmother and Tina Bursill as Madame, Ella’s stepmother. Matilda Moran and Bianca Bruce will play Ella’s stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte. Daniel Belle will be Lord Pinkleton, while Josh Gardiner is Jean-Michel, the poor revolutionary who is in love with Gabrielle.
Completing the cast will be William Brougham, Danielle Evrat, Luke Haberecht, Matthew Jenson, Lauren Jimmieson, Leah Lim, Kassie Martin, Rubin Matters, Joshua Russell, Greta Sherriff, Lewis Shilvock, Suzanne Steele, Tom Struik, Daniel Szesiong Todd, Alexis van Maanen, Dean Vince, Daniel Wijngaarden, Erica Wild and Emily Wood.
The producers are delighted with the overwhelming response from the public as they bring to the Australian stage one of the most beautiful musicals of all time. “We’re so excited to bring this Broadway favourite to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney,” they said.
“Cinderella is one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s greatest scores and this production with beautiful orchestrations, magnificent costumes and sets, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love from the classic story, will have audiences clamouring for more.
“We’re also thrilled that Nicholas Hammond has agreed to tread the boards again in his first stage musical to play Sebastian. With an extraordinary list of credits, we know audiences will be delighted to see Nicholas on stage once more,” said Frost and Terracini.
With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic elements – the glass slippers, pumpkin, a beautiful masked ball and more – along with some surprising twists.
More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. A spirited young woman with savvy and soul, she not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realise his dreams too.
The stage version of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella made its long-awaited Broadway debut in January 2013, featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Mark Brokaw, and it ran for two years.
Mr Beane’s book blends masterfully with the musical’s cherished score, with songs including In My Own Little Corner, Impossible/It’s Possible, Ten Minutes Ago and Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful? Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a romantic and exciting experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream.
The Australian Premiere season of this glorious and uplifting musical will take place at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 20 May 2022, with seasons following at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane from 5 August and the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 23 October. For more information, visit: www.cinderellamusical.com.au for details.
Image: Shubshri Kandiah as Ella (Cinderella) and Ainsley Melham as Prince Topher – photo by Brian Geach