Colorful costumes and sets and a new take on the characters are part of the charms of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” coming to the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Feb. 23. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGG

‘Cinderella’s’ glass slipper fits Kuss Auditorium stage

You know the fairy tale — a girl is put down by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, discovers a fairy godmother, gets invited to a ball, a glass slipper, Prince Charming, happily ever after.

“Cinderella” has been loved by generations and many already know it by heart.

The latest version of the musical “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” has maintained the magic while rounding out already beloved characters.

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The Broadway tour will arrive by pumpkin coach to the Clark State Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23.

It is presented by the Clark State Performing Arts Center and is appropriate for all audiences.

Louis Griffin may have his own fairy godmother out there. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati a year ago and then landed the part of Prince Topher – gone is the “Charming” – which is not just his first professional tour, but also his first professional leading role.

This prince isn’t the garden-variety handsome lug, but has some depth, which Griffin appreciates Otherwise he may just as well be greeting visitors at a theme park.

“What’s awesome about this production is it keeps the elements everybody loves, but it keeps you on your toes to see what comes next,” he said.

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While the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score remains timeless, the show’s book was rewritten in 2013 with an eye and ear on a modern audience, according to Griffin.

In this version, Topher has just returned from school to lead his kingdom and isn’t too thrilled about having to throw a ball with a lot of people he doesn’t know.

It’s still about he and Cinderella falling in love, but the relationship is stronger by wanting to make their country better through each other’s kindness.

“He has his own tale of fulfillment and each of the characters has his own wants and needs, which is more artistically fulfilling,” Griffin said.

It’s also kind of new being in a traditional Broadway show for an actor who is used to rock and roll shows, but loves all aspects of theater.

This 2013 version of “Cinderella” was nominated for numerous Tony Awards, capturing the best costume design.

Griffin said audiences will appreciate the costumes and the magical effects, which still blow away him away even with 100 shows under his belt, as well as the comedy of the stepsisters.

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About halfway through the yearlong tour, he said having a new audience in a new location every night kicks the cast into gear to recreate the magic.

“I’m very lucky to be where I am. It’s still pretty surreal seeing my picture pop up on the show’s web site.”

Coming from a musical family with parents who named their kids after jazz musicians – he’s named for trumpet great Louis Armstrong – Griffin is looking forward to friends and former UC professors being in the audience for this show.

“It’s a really awesome time for kids and adults. I haven’t talked to anybody who hasn’t liked it yet.”

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