Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest musical Bad Cinderella opened on Broadway March 23 at the Imperial Theatre, with no shortage of ball gowns, sinister step-relatives, and bedazzled LaDucas. See what critics had to say here.
Playbill stopped by the red carpet, which was a fashion extravaganza, to ask the cast and creative about what it's like to open a new ALW show, and the last time they were really bad.
See the cast of Bad Cinderella discuss their bad behavior below.
Besides reflecting on their bad history, the cast also marveled at being able to bring themselves to their roles in the new musical, which is a comedic and modern re-envisioning of the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Bad Cinderella takes place in the fictional town of Belleville, where everyone has to obey a beauty standard, except for the rebel Cinderella.
For Linedy Genao, playing the title role of Cinderella is “the honor of [her] life," says the newly minted star. "To be his first Latina leading lady to originate a role and to play a princess, I never had that growing up, a princess that I could relate to...it’s very overwhelming and something that I know is much bigger than me, and I only pray that it opens doors to other possibilities for people.”
The musical makes strides not only in representation, but in a reimagining the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Jordan Dobson stars as Prince Sebastian, a sensitive character who struggles to find his place in a hyper-masculine society.
“He’s the guy who’s misunderstood,” Dobson says. “That’s liberating. Because there’s no preconceived notions, no one knows this character. It’s not a fairy tale character, it’s not like flipping a fairy tale on its head—it’s brand new, and I feel really free being able to put so much of myself into it as well.”
READ: Bad Cinderella’s Leads Started Off As Covers; Now They Have the Keys to the Kingdom
Audiences, and critics, have raved over the standout stars of Bad Cinderella: the villains. Carolee Carmello and Grace McLean delight as the Stepmother and Queen, respectively. Carmello, who was seen earlier this season as the contrarian John Dickinson in 1776, is no stranger to an adversarial role.
“There's always like that sense of, you know, [a] twinkle in the eye about these Broadway villains that make them so much more fun than the ingenue,” Carmello says. “And I've gotten to wear these beautiful green costumes in both so I can't complain.”
READ: From 1776 to Bad Cinderella, This May Be Carolee Carmello's Championship Season
McLean emphasizes that villains are “more fun,” to play. Says McLean: “They have great hats! That's all I want to be is a villain. Without the villains, there is no story.”
Though the musical contains plenty of laughs and hunks, Bad Cinderella contains some heartfelt messages. “I hope [the audience] understands and takes away the message of love,” Dobson says. “Whether it is love of family, love of romance, or friendship, I think that's the main crux of our entire story here. And standing up for who you are. Because as RuPaul says, 'If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Check out the gallery below for all of the opening night looks from cast, creative, and celebrity guests—including Real Housewives of New York cast member Bethenny Frankel (who loved the show so much she made a TikTok), ALW musical alum Alex Brightman, drag queen Marcia Marcia Marcia, and influencer dogs (yes, you read that right) Tinkerbell and Belle.
The company of Bad Cinderella also includes Sami Gayle as Adele, Morgan Higgins as Marie, Christina Acosta Robinson as Godmother, Cameron Loyal as Prince Charming, and Savy Jackson as Cinderella at some performances.
The ensemble is rounded out by Mike Baerga, Raymond Baynard, Lauren Boyd, Tristen Buettel, Kaleigh Cronin, Josh Drake, Ben Lanham, Ángel Lozada, Mariah Lyttle, Sarah Meahl, Larkin Reilly, Julio Rey, Lily Rose, J Savage, Dave Schoonover, Tregoney Shepherd, Paige Smallwood, Aléna Watters, Christian Probst. and Alyssa Carol, Gary Cooper, Michael Milkanin, Robin Masella, Chloé Nadon-Enriquez, and Lucas Thompson as swings.
Laurence Connor directs Bad Cinderella, with a book by Emerald Fennell, choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, book adaptation by Alexis Scheer, orchestrations by Andrew Lloyd Webber, scenic and costume design by Gabriela Tylesova, lighting design by Bruno Poet, sound design by Gareth Owen, hair and wig design by Luc Verschuren, U.S. music supervision and direction by Kristen Blodgette, U.K. music supervision by David Andrew Wilson, and music coordination by David Lai.