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Cinco DeNio

Musical Mondays Week 54 Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

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I too loved this one! LAW will always hold a special place in my heart, but the singing was just beyond! I remember this being a big deal when it came out. Definitely appointment viewing. This is so very 1997, but I think that makes it perfect! I love all of it. 

This afternoon I've been reading over shondaland's oral history of the Brandy/Houston version. It's a great read. Basically, the whole idea was Whitney Houston's love child, and she was originally going to be Cinderella, but decided she'd be better as Fairy Godmother and sought out Brandy to play the lead. Everyone involved was really dedicated to a color blind casting, and they were also big fans of the LAW 1967 version, which may have played a role in how much I found this a really lovely adaptation. 

My only criticism is that the two new numbers they added felt really off in tone and style from the rest of the songs. But Whitney definitely deserved that solo at the end. RIP

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A very happy birthday to Gigi!

And a belated happy birthday to Taylor Anne!

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First I'll start off with the praise. Much like mentioned I enjoyed the colourblind casting of this movie and how much of a non-issue it was. In addition the cast are incredible singers and I liked the songs. My major complaint was I wasn't really feeling the step sisters so much. I get that they are suppose to be the comedic relief but the bouncing between non-comedic bullying of Cinderella and then comedic buffoonery just give me a nose bleed.

This leads me to my larger thing I realized. I hate to say this but... I don't think I like the Cinderella story that much. Again like grudlian pointed out this story has a weird issue with the prince being face blind and in this movie with him meeting her before the ball and then not recognizing her is even more confusing. I guess it just kinda falls into the trope of the nerdy girl taking off her glasses and now she's beautiful. It's also close to the Clark Kent/Superman problem. I'm not a fan of it. It is also a story of little to no consequence for the "evil" characters. The step sisters and mom are cruel to Cinderella and their punishment is not marrying the prince they had no chance with to begin with. I think I heard in the original they chop off their toes to fit into the slipper or something.

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I saw this topic and got excited because I watched the R&H Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren (the LAW) over and over as a kid. I remember watching th Brandy version and liking it but I don’t remember it as vividly. 

RIP Whitney.

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Craig Zadan: Though I’ll tell you what was going on behind the scenes: There was an executive at Disney — who will remain nameless — and he was very nervous about a black Cinderella. He loved the idea of Whitney being the black fairy godmother, but he came up to us and said, "Well, if you’re coming up with someone like Brandy as Cinderella, why can’t you go get Jewel instead, and have a white Cinderella and a black Fairy Godmother. It’ll still be multicultural."

 I am reading the oral history WatchOut posted and this is the worst idea I have ever heard. 

 

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42 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

This leads me to my larger thing I realized. I hate to say this but... I don't think I like the Cinderella story that much. Again like grudlian pointed out this story has a weird issue with the prince being face blind and in this movie with him meeting her before the ball and then not recognizing her is even more confusing. I guess it just kinda falls into the trope of the nerdy girl taking off her glasses and now she's beautiful. It's also close to the Clark Kent/Superman problem. I'm not a fan of it. It is also a story of little to no consequence for the "evil" characters. The step sisters and mom are cruel to Cinderella and their punishment is not marrying the prince they had no chance with to begin with. I think I heard in the original they chop off their toes to fit into the slipper or something.

The bigger issue with face blindness, I just realized, is how do the step sisters not recognize her? Ok. You don't think it's her because Cinderella is scrubbing floors at home and doesn't own a fancy ball gown. But certainly you'd notice they look the same?

As a kid, I always thought it was ridiculous that the glass slipper didn't fit anyone else's foot. In the whole kingdom, no one had the same size foot? But this face blindness is really over the top.

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6 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

First I'll start off with the praise. Much like mentioned I enjoyed the colourblind casting of this movie and how much of a non-issue it was. In addition the cast are incredible singers and I liked the songs. My major complaint was I wasn't really feeling the step sisters so much. I get that they are suppose to be the comedic relief but the bouncing between non-comedic bullying of Cinderella and then comedic buffoonery just give me a nose bleed.

This leads me to my larger thing I realized. I hate to say this but... I don't think I like the Cinderella story that much. Again like grudlian pointed out this story has a weird issue with the prince being face blind and in this movie with him meeting her before the ball and then not recognizing her is even more confusing. I guess it just kinda falls into the trope of the nerdy girl taking off her glasses and now she's beautiful. It's also close to the Clark Kent/Superman problem. I'm not a fan of it. It is also a story of little to no consequence for the "evil" characters. The step sisters and mom are cruel to Cinderella and their punishment is not marrying the prince they had no chance with to begin with. I think I heard in the original they chop off their toes to fit into the slipper or something.

In some versions one chips off her toes and the other her heel. Then if I recall birds sing to take Prince to look at her feet because the shoes full of blood now. I know in some versions at the end birds peck out the eyes of the stepmother and step sister. Personally I don't know how I feel about that and it circles around to how I feel about this story. 

I'm not sure if it's fair to be so horrible to the stepsisters. This is clearly a household of abuse.sometimes people in those situations do what they can to survive. Being kind to Cinderella is probably not going to be looked on very favorably.  Also this is literally all they know. They have been living with their mother all their lives. clearly she is a warped person.

And it's always bothered me that the "bad" sisters are the "ugly" ones. As someone who's grown up fat my whole life I know how it feels to have to societal stigma of being "ugly" ( I don't think I'm ugly. But it must be acknowledged that being thin is the ideal in our society) I could very easily see how the stepmother could prey on her daughter's by constantly pointing out imperfections and with Cinderella lacking those issues that could lead to even more fucked up be a and resentment. Since they were never taught to treat people with kindness and it's expected that they mistreat her they might double down and suddenly years have passed and it's as easy to be cruel to her as to breathe. It's not right but I can understand how it happened.

 

As for the story I agree. It's just so frustrating to me! Unless Cinderella is wearing a FULL face mask ( no domino eye mask bullshit here) the Prince should have a vague idea what she looks like. Honesty if I was Cinderella I would be INSULTED  that he couldn't get at least some of my features right! If this is supposed to be true love at first sight then YOU BETTER FUCKING KNOW WHAT I LOOK LIKE BUDDY!! At least a general idea. 

I'd be fine if they were to put in a line that for political reasons does to not offend the nobles every woman from the ball has to try it on or something.

 

speaking of I really don't like this story because of the love at first sight I think.  I love Beauty and the Beast stories because they get to know each other. Here they meet for a few hours and that's it! You can't find out if you really like someone in that length of time much less that they are the love of your life!

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So apparently Whoopi  convinced Harry Winston to lend them millions of dollars worth of jewelry for her character to wear. Work Whoopi!

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3 hours ago, gigi-tastic said:

speaking of I really don't like this story because of the love at first sight I think.  I love Beauty and the Beast stories because they get to know each other. Here they meet for a few hours and that's it! You can't find out if you really like someone in that length of time much less that they are the love of your life!

Oh yeah?!?!

 

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12 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

First I'll start off with the praise. Much like mentioned I enjoyed the colourblind casting of this movie and how much of a non-issue it was. In addition the cast are incredible singers and I liked the songs. My major complaint was I wasn't really feeling the step sisters so much. I get that they are suppose to be the comedic relief but the bouncing between non-comedic bullying of Cinderella and then comedic buffoonery just give me a nose bleed.

This leads me to my larger thing I realized. I hate to say this but... I don't think I like the Cinderella story that much. Again like grudlian pointed out this story has a weird issue with the prince being face blind and in this movie with him meeting her before the ball and then not recognizing her is even more confusing. I guess it just kinda falls into the trope of the nerdy girl taking off her glasses and now she's beautiful. It's also close to the Clark Kent/Superman problem. I'm not a fan of it. It is also a story of little to no consequence for the "evil" characters. The step sisters and mom are cruel to Cinderella and their punishment is not marrying the prince they had no chance with to begin with. I think I heard in the original they chop off their toes to fit into the slipper or something.

I agree that the sisters were a problem, but I think that's part of the R&H interpretation, and it won't shock anyone to know that their IMDB pages are pretty... sparse. 

With respect to the no one recognizing Cinderella at the ball, it's a stretch, but I'll buy it (except maybe for the Prince). Sometimes I see people from the gym out and about in their regular work/leisure clothes and I have a hard time recognizing them, not because I don't recognize their faces, but it's so off-centering to run into familiar faces in unfamiliar contexts and places. 

ETA: with respect to the sisters/mother not recognizing her, it may have been that they didn't get a good look at her. Plus... magic! 

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13 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I agree that the sisters were a problem, but I think that's part of the R&H interpretation, and it won't shock anyone to know that their IMDB pages are pretty... sparse. 

With respect to the no one recognizing Cinderella at the ball, it's a stretch, but I'll buy it (except maybe for the Prince). Sometimes I see people from the gym out and about in their regular work/leisure clothes and I have a hard time recognizing them, not because I don't recognize their faces, but it's so off-centering to run into familiar faces in unfamiliar contexts and places. 

At first I only knew Veanne Cox (the redhead stepsister) from a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode.  Looking for pics I see she was also the snooty lawyer from PG&E in Erin Brockovich.

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39 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I agree that the sisters were a problem, but I think that's part of the R&H interpretation, and it won't shock anyone to know that their IMDB pages are pretty... sparse. 

With respect to the no one recognizing Cinderella at the ball, it's a stretch, but I'll buy it (except maybe for the Prince). Sometimes I see people from the gym out and about in their regular work/leisure clothes and I have a hard time recognizing them, not because I don't recognize their faces, but it's so off-centering to run into familiar faces in unfamiliar contexts and places. 

ETA: with respect to the sisters/mother not recognizing her, it may have been that they didn't get a good look at her. Plus... magic! 

Yeah, I was going to say something similar. Like I recognize my normal barista, whom I see often enough, but if I saw her out and about, I’d probably be like the prince, “That person seems familiar...”

I mean, they only met the one time for a minute or two. How many people, regardless of how attractive they are, would you be able to meet once for a couple of minutes and then immediately recognize them on sight a few days later?

I also agree about the steps not recognizing her. They were pretty far away. And in the original fairy tale, Cindy was always dirty and covered in ash. It may just be they didn’t recognize her all cleaned up.

 I’m also cool with love at first sight. Sometimes you just know, you know? My wife and I moved in together after 3 days and one “real” date. We married a year later and have been together ever since. We’re best friends and barely ever fight. I’m not saying that it works that way, or should work that way, for everyone, but I personally can’t dismiss love at first sight out of hand.

That being said, I’m not a huge fan of Cinderella (the story) overall. There’s not a lot of drama in it beyond “get your man/woman.” Which is why I guess the animated version is 70% about her vermin friends and not her.

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In terms of face blindness, I think that we're supposed to suspect that truly the life of a peasant leaves you so dirty that if you were to wash it all away to attend a ball you would truly look like a different person. But, of course, this is Hollywood and they're not going to rub mud all over Brandy's face. I definitely agree that the least they could've done is narrowed the search down to a black woman lol.

However, I'll disagree about the stepmother and step sisters needing some kind of big punishment. I mean, yes in a perfect world and since this is a fairytale that's what we all want and expect for people that are straight up abusing this girl, however it's not real life. What I love about the ending of the newest adaptation with Lily James and Cate Blanchett is at the very end the stepmother is still trying to stick in one last terrible note into Cinderella's mind as she leaves with the prince, but she just turns and tells her that she forgives her and then she leaves. You see Cate Blanchett play that moment perfectly as she sinks down onto the stairs and it hits her that she's the miserable one and Cinderella is going to get her happily ever after. That is the punishment and that is the only thing people in real life can really do. They move on and live their best lives knowing that the abusers will never be happy.

On the other hand, another fave adaptation of mine - Ever After - shows the stepmother and the actual terrible sister getting sent as peasants to work in America and apparently "The New World" is truly seen as the worst possible outcome for someone of nobility in France lol. Loved that moment too.

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34 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

On the other hand, another fave adaptation of mine - Ever After - shows the stepmother and the actual terrible sister getting sent as peasants to work in America and apparently "The New World" is truly seen as the worst possible outcome for someone of nobility in France lol. Loved that moment too.

"You'll all be welcome in America!"

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5 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Thanks @taylorannephoto.  I wanted to ask about Ever After.  I haven't seen it but will check it out!

I'm not sure if it holds up for someone that has never seen it before, because it was definitely one of those I saw as a kid and just held onto for my whole life. If anything the costumes are absolutely perfect lol.

But I also don't totally want to fall into other adaptations while we are specifically talking about a musical, because neither Ever After nor 2015's Cinderella actually have any musical elements to them. I wonder if this story flourishes more once you take out that aspect to it. Once you take the actual meat of the story more seriously then you truly understand the meaning behind everything. Then again the musical elements really do highlight the magic and it becomes a lot more fun.

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1 minute ago, taylorannephoto said:

I'm not sure if it holds up for someone that has never seen it before, because it was definitely one of those I saw as a kid and just held onto for my whole life. If anything the costumes are absolutely perfect lol.

But I also don't totally want to fall into other adaptations while we are specifically talking about a musical, because neither Ever After nor 2015's Cinderella actually have any musical elements to them. I wonder if this story flourishes more once you take out that aspect to it. Once you take the actual meat of the story more seriously then you truly understand the meaning behind everything. Then again the musical elements really do highlight the magic and it becomes a lot more fun.

No worries.  I probably won't be able to see it until this weekend at the earliest anyway.  I agree I prefer to stick with the selection at hand.  (Except when the selection sucks <cough>Piya Berupiya<cough>.)

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I once saw my neighbor, who I just would amiably small talk to around the building, unexpectedly at lunch during work when we didn't realize we worked so close.  We didn't acknowledge each other because we were both confused by it and were like 'huh what' until we brought it up a few weeks later.

I sort of agree that Cinderella isn't the most interesting of fairy tales.  I'm also sort of always wishing for an explanation as to WHY the Fairy Godmother helps her.  I guess just because she's a good person?  But I need more back story about the Fairy Godmother. 

The adaptions I've preferred are maybe a little darker in showing just how abused/miserable her life is at the beginning (the 1914 version I posted does this well, they show her sleeping on sticks and stuff).   None I've seen really make me FEEL the love between Cinderella and the Prince though.  It just happens because.  I feel like there's a lot of room to flesh this fairy tale out but nobody really does.

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I once saw my neighbor, who I just would amiably small talk to around the building, unexpectedly at lunch during work when we didn't realize we worked so close.  We didn't acknowledge each other because we were both confused by it and were like 'huh what' until we brought it up a few weeks later.

I sort of agree that Cinderella isn't the most interesting of fairy tales.  I'm also sort of always wishing for an explanation as to WHY the Fairy Godmother helps her.  I guess just because she's a good person?  But I need more back story about the Fairy Godmother. 

The adaptions I've preferred are maybe a little darker in showing just how abused/miserable her life is at the beginning (the 1914 version I posted does this well, they show her sleeping on sticks and stuff).   None I've seen really make me FEEL the love between Cinderella and the Prince though.  It just happens because.  I feel like there's a lot of room to flesh this fairy tale out but nobody really does.

In at least one version (Grimm’s maybe...), the fairy godmother is her actual mother, so that kind of makes sense.

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Off-Topic: Who popped in here from time to time shortly after this new format was implemented?  We commented on how we wanted the dark background and they said they were working on it.  I'd like to get in touch with them to ask them to fix the quote box and the notifications box up top once a notification has been read.

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8 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Off-Topic: Who popped in here from time to time shortly after this new format was implemented?  We commented on how we wanted the dark background and they said they were working on it.  I'd like to get in touch with them to ask them to fix the quote box and the notifications box up top once a notification has been read.

You can try hitting up Shannon, but I think they had a third party working on it. I’m not sure what they can do at this point.

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2 hours ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Thanks @taylorannephoto.  I wanted to ask about Ever After.  I haven't seen it but will check it out!

Ever After was a childhood favorite of mine. I don't know if , like @taylorannephoto says it holds up as well today but it's still pretty pleasant to watch. My biggest issues are all historical inaccuracies mostly involving Leonardo Da Vinci who is in this for... Reasons. Also Drew Barrymore has a weird wanna be British accent that I never noticed until recently and now can't stop noticing. Still I love it and her look at the ball is EVERYTHING. Plus if anyone is going to amy evil stepmother (besides Jennifer Coolidge aka the ONLY reason to watch A Cinderella Story) I want it to be Angelica Huston! 

 

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2 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

In at least one version (Grimm’s maybe...), the fairy godmother is her actual mother, so that kind of makes sense.

I think there's a version her mom is like... A tree that gives her gifts ? Like it's a tree on her mom's grave.  Not a random gift giving tree. 

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1 minute ago, gigi-tastic said:

I think there's a version her mom is like... A tree that gives her gifts ? Like it's a tree on her mom's grave.  Not a random gift giving tree. 

That’s right! I’d forgotten about that!

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3 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

Yeah, I was going to say something similar. Like I recognize my normal barista, whom I see often enough, but if I saw her out and about, I’d probably be like the prince, “That person seems familiar...”

I mean, they only met the one time for a minute or two. How many people, regardless of how attractive they are, would you be able to meet once for a couple of minutes and then immediately recognize them on sight a few days later?

I also agree about the steps not recognizing her. They were pretty far away. And in the original fairy tale, Cindy was always dirty and covered in ash. It may just be they didn’t recognize her all cleaned up.

 I’m also cool with love at first sight. Sometimes you just know, you know? My wife and I moved in together after 3 days and one “real” date. We married a year later and have been together ever since. We’re best friends and barely ever fight. I’m not saying that it works that way, or should work that way, for everyone, but I personally can’t dismiss love at first sight out of hand.

That being said, I’m not a huge fan of Cinderella (the story) overall. There’s not a lot of drama in it beyond “get your man/woman.” Which is why I guess the animated version is 70% about her vermin friends and not her.

Ok I awwwed  out loud. I guess I'm not as cold and cynical as I wish I were. I guess I just always wondered what the rest of Cinderella 's life is like with the Prince because they really don't know much about each other.  

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