Before you assume that Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is merely the quintessential heteronormative fairy tale musical, with its happily-ever-after coupling of the (passive, beautiful, yearning) female protagonist and the (active, wealthy, humble) male hero, you might take a moment to consider the queer fun of seeing a local community theater production that has chosen to include a man in drag as the wicked stepmother.
“Excessiveness in musical comedy roles for women makes them ripe for drag, and this role is ideal for it,” argues Elyce Rae Helford, publicity coordinator for the production and member of the board of the Center Players, the non-profit group producing the show at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro.
David Cummings, the actor who has accepted the challenge of this cross-dressing opportunity, is a familiar face to Center for the Arts audiences, having enjoyed such roles as Professor Harold Hill in Music Man and Reverend Oglethorpe in Smoke on the Mountain. As Cinderella’s stepmother, audiences will see a new side to his talents.
About playing the role, Cummings says, “When approached to do the role, it sounded like too much fun to pass up. From Harold Hill to the Stepmother in drag—how delicious!”
Cinderella will be playing Feb. 8-24, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro, 110 W. College St. in Murfreesboro. There will also be an opening night show with half-price student tickets on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Tickets are $12 for adults, with discounts for seniors, students and children. To purchase tickets (reservations strongly recommended), please call the Center for the Arts box office at 615-904-2787.