Julie Andrews fans might want to head to the New York branch of The Museum of Television and Radio to check out a recently rediscovered kinescope of the first dress rehearsal of "Cinderella," the Rodgers and Hammerstein TV musical that was telecast in 1957 featuring Andrews as star.
The New York Times reports that the black-and-white kinescope was discovered at the CBS archive in Hollywood this past February and will be shown during the Museum's screening series, "Richard Rodgers: The Sound of His Music," which runs June 21 through July 14. "Cinderella," the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written expressly for television, was a ratings hit for CBS, drawing 107 million viewers. The musical also helped make the 21 year-old Julie Andrews a star and brought the singer-actress an Emmy Award nomination for her work.
Astute "Cinderella" experts will notice several differences between the dress rehearsal of the musical and the actual TV broadcast. One major change concerns the show's opening sequence. During rehearsals, the program began with Cinderella carrying an unwieldy tower of boxes through the town, but it was later decided that the production number, "The Prince Is Giving a Ball," should begin the musical.
The cast of the 1957 "Cinderella" also featured Howard Lindsay as the King, Dorothy Stickney as The Queen, Ilka Chase as The Stepmother, Kaye Ballard as Stepsister Portia, Alice Ghostley as Stepsister Joy, Edie Adams as the Fairy Godmother and Jon Cypher as Prince Christopher. Subsequent television productions of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical have cast Lesley Ann Warren and pop singer Brandy as Cinderella.
The Museum of Television & Radio was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and to make those programs available to the public. The New York branch is located at 25 West 52nd Street and is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6 PM (8 PM Thursdays and 9 PM Fridays). The California branch is located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills and is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 PM and until 9 PM on Thursdays. Go to http://www.mtr.org for information. —By Andrew Gans