Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella celebrates its 65th anniversary March 31, the date the work premiered as a live TV broadcast on CBS in 1957. Julie Andrews created the title role, taking time off from her star-making turn in Broadway's My Fair Lady to do so. The cast also included such stage and screen luminaries as Jon Cypher, Howard Lindsay, Dorothy Stickney, Edie Adams, Kaye Ballard, Alice Ghostley, Ilka Chase, and Iggie Wolfington. Watch Andrews sing "In My Own Little Corner" from the seldom-seen broadcast above.
The broadcast, offered at the height of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's meteoric success on Broadway, was watched by more than 107 million people—which worked out to 4.3 people per television set at the time—and Andrews received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance. The live, color broadcast was never seen again after it premiered, though a black-and-white kinescope copy of the performance was released on DVD decades later. In the years since the original, the work was produced for TV again in 1965 starring Leslie Ann Warren, Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, and Celeste Holm; and yet again in 1997 starring Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Paolo Montalbán, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, and Jason Alexander.
Watch Andrews and Adams sing "Impossible/It's Possible" from the 1957 broadcast:
The work made it to the stage almost immediately after its TV premiere, playing as a holiday panto at the London Coliseum in 1958, and in more traditional adaptations in the U.S. by 1961. A dramatically revised stage version of the work, with a book by Douglas Carter Beane and incorporating songs from the Rodger and Hammerstein catalogue, gave the property its Broadway premiere in 2013, starring Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark, Harriet Harris, Peter Bartlett, Ann Hard, Marla Mindelle, and Greg Hildreth.
Companies looking to produce the classic musical today can choose between an adaptation that more closely matches the original TV version, an "Enchanted" edition modeled on the 1997 re-make, or Beane's Broadway version, all of which are licensed via Concord Theatricals' Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection.
Watch Andrews and Cypher sing "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" from the 1957 broadcast: