If only deciding what to wear to an important event were this easy.
When our heroine makes her first big transformation in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” she shifts in a flash from peasant frock to a gorgeous gown and pair of glass slippers, all thanks to a nod from her fairy godmother.
Cinderella isn’t any different “inside” now that she’s wearing that elegant dress. But fashion isn’t so much about utility as it is about making a statement about one’s position in a hierarchical society. You don’t get to go the ball if you’re dressed in rags.
The moment, then, is important not only in terms of the storyline but also to the show’s underlying theme. And the national touring production, which opened Tuesday at the Saroyan Theatre, does it in spectacular fashion.
William Ivey Long’s Tony Award-winning costumes in the 2013 Broadway adaptation were highly praised at the time. I’d even watched on video the onstage moment when Cinderella’s dress transforms from peasant garb to exquisite garment in a matter of seconds. But to see the metamorphosis of Long’s creations live is downright thrilling, particularly the first big fairy-godmother-blessed moment, when Cinderella (Tatyana Lubov) swirls into a multi-layer white confection studded with jewels.