Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (Original)


Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (Original)

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  6f, 5m

Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

The timeless enchantment of the magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance.

Image: 1957 Television Broadcast Production (Courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization)

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (Original)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6f, 5m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Fantasy, Adaptations (Literature), Christmas/Holiday, Fables/Folktales, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Nominee: Three 1958 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Musical Contribution for Television
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



Four versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella are available for licensing. To compare and contrast the four versions, click here.

The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. Its recreation in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren was no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true, and so was a second remake in 1997, which starred Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother.


In 1956 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were indisputably the world’s most successful writers of musicals. Julie Andrews was a sparkling new star, having just triumphed in My Fair Lady. When her agent approached Rodgers and Hammerstein and suggested that the television audience would welcome a musical version of "Cinderella," it was an irresistible temptation for all.

Everything about the project was right from the start. The CBS production team was quickly assembled. Richard Lewine, a distant cousin of Rodgers and a close friend, was the producer, Ralph Nelson the director. Howard Lindsay and his wife, Dorothy Stickney, were signed for the King and Queen; Jon Cypher played the Prince; the Stepmother and Stepsisters were made less frightening and more comic by Ilka Chase, Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostley; rather than the standard old crone, the beautiful Edie Adams played the Godmother.

Rodgers and Hammerstein approached the story with the honesty and simplicity that characterized all their work. They purposely did not seek to improve a story they felt was dramatically sound, as many writers are prone to do, instead concentrating on bringing the characters to life. Rodgers wrote in his autobiography Musical Stages, “In writing the story and the songs, Oscar and I felt that it was important to keep everything as traditional as possible, without any ‘modernizing’ or reaching for psychological significance.” When Hammerstein was asked where he found the version of Cinderella story he based his adaptation upon, he answered, “I looked it up in the encyclopedia.”

The marriage of music, lyrics and story in Cinderella exemplified their artistic philosophy; all elements held together integrally to illuminate the characters. As Rodgers explained, “Although a few of its songs have become popular, our score for Cinderella is another example of what theatre music is really about. No matter what the medium, a score is more than a collection of individual songs. It is, or should be, a cohesive entity whose word and music are believable expressions of the characters singing them...Like a symphony, concerto or opera, some portions have greater appeal than others, but it is the work as a whole that makes the overall impression.”

Cinderella succeeded. When it was broadcast on March 31, 1957, it was viewed by more people than any other program in the history of television.

Cast Attributes
  • Flexible casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups
  • Youth/Camp Programs

As a kingdom celebrates its Prince’s decision to give a ball for the express purpose of finding a bride, Cinderella’s two stepsisters and their mother enter. This less-than-lovable trio is followed by what seems to be a large pile of packages, but in fact is Cinderella carrying the ladies’ ball gowns, frills and frou frou from a successful shopping spree. Cinderella, it becomes apparent when they arrive home, will have the formidable job of making the Stepmother and Stepsisters beautiful for the ball—in addition to her other jobs, which include cooking, sewing, cleaning, washing and everything else imaginable. Although she won’t be allowed to go to the ball herself, Cinderella is happy for the others. She always tries to be cheerful and never complains. Sometimes, however, she retreats to her “own little corner” and dreams of a more exciting life.

The Queen and King are not in complete agreement about the Prince’s ball (which should in fact be called the Queen’s ball, since it is entirely her idea). The King doesn’t want to have it at all, since it will be a great deal of trouble, a large expense and why would a red-blooded boy want to get married in the first place? But the Queen has her heart set on it, and neither the King nor the Prince (who dreads the whole idea) can bear to disappoint her. The preparations continue.

On the night of the ball, Cinderella helps her Stepmother and Stepsisters get ready. After they leave, she sits alone in her corner and imagines what it might be like at the ball. She’s not alone for long, however, for her Godmother appear at the window. Despite this lady’s sensible looks and practical manner, she is no ordinary godmother, though Cinderella doesn’t suspect this. With help from the Godmother’s “fol-de-rol” and “fiddley dee,” Cinderella is magically transformed for the ball. Her carriage, changed from a pumpkin, drawn by horses that were mice a moment before, whisks her to the palace.

The ball is the ball that everyone remembers from their storybooks, and Cinderella is the most beautiful of Princesses. Does she captivate everyone at the palace? She does! Do she and the Prince fall in love? They do! Must she flee at midnight before her carriage changes back into a pumpkin? She must!

Before she escapes, Cinderella loses her slipper, which the Prince retrieves. It is his only clue to finding her again, and he mounts a search for the foot that fits the slipper. All efforts are in vain, however. Even at the Stepmother’s house, the Godmother’s efforts to intervene for Cinderella are fruitless for Cinderella is nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile, the Prince has been trying to convince his mother (and himself) that he is not in love with a dream, but with a real girl, even if she has disappeared. When his is told that no one can be found whose foot fits the slipper, he is shattered. In anger he tosses the slipper into the bushes.

Cinderella, who herself can hardly believe her memories of the ball, has returned to the palace garden, hoping to recapture the magic of the night before, if only in her mind. The Prince stops her, but hardly recognizes the vision of loveliness he danced with underneath Cinderella’s sooty clothes and dirty face. She is embarrassed to be seen by him and tries to leave. For a moment it looks as if the story will end unhappily as she walks away, but at the last moment the Prince thinks to try the slipper on her foot (after the Godmother retrieves it and places it next to him). And, of course, the slipper fits.

Almost immediately the Royal Wedding begins. As the curtain falls on the happy couple, the Godmother reminds everyone that “Impossible things are happening every day.”

6 Women
2 Men

3 Men

Large singing-dancing ensemble

Stepsister Portia
Stepsister Joy
Prince Charming
Fairy Godmother
Town Crier
Captain of the Guard
Court Tailor

NOTE: In this show, the race of the characters is not pivotal to the plot. We encourage you to consider diversity and inclusion in your casting choices.

  • Time Period 16th Century / Elizabethan, 17th Century, 15th Century
  • Setting

    Long ago in a kingdom far away.

  • Features Fantasy Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


“The most triumphant night of Broadway's golden age!” – Noel Murray, The AV Club

“A major new musical...produced with characteristic skill, dexterity and lilt. The whole was a love story of often enormous charm...Rodgers and Hammerstein have not lost their knack for the lyrics and beat that are easy to remember.” – Jack Gould, The New York Times

“It would take a jaded eye to miss the magic and a deaf ear not to appreciate Richard Rodgers' lilting, lovely tunes and Oscar Hammerstein's simple and poetic lyrics.” – Joan Crosby, The Pittsburgh Press

“A class production all the way, Cinderella is a straight telling of the fairy tale with several catchy songs...Writer/lyricist Hammerstein gives the characters personality but doesn't spoof the story or send anything up, which is a refreshing change from today's anything-for-a-laugh comedy writing.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Talk


Cinderella Through the Years
by Ted Chapin
July 22, 2020


  • "Impossible" - Cinderella

  • "Ten Minutes Ago" - Cinderella

  • "In My Own Little Corner" - Cinderella

  • The Musicology of "Ten Minutes Ago"


Music Samples

Act I

1. Overture – Orchestra
2. Curtain Music Act I – Orchestra
3. “The Prince Is Giving A Ball” – Herald, Townspeople
4. Cinderella March – Orchestra
5. “In My Own Little Corner” – Cinderella
6. Change Of Scene – Orchestra
7. “Your Majesties” – Chief, Steward, King, Queen
8. “Your Majesties: Dance” – Chief, Stewards, King, Queen
9. “Boys And Girls Like You And Me” – King, Queen
10. Change Of Scene – Orchestra
11. “In My Own Little Corner (Reprise)” / “Fol-De-Rol” – Cinderella, Godmother
12. “Impossible” – Cinderella, Godmother
13. The Transformation – Orchestra
14. “It’s Possible” – Cinderella, Godmother

Act II

15. Entr’acte – Orchestra
16. Curtain Music Act II – Orchestra
17. Gavotte – Orchestra
18. Cinderella’s Entrance – Orchestra
19. “Ten Minutes Ago” – Prince, Cinderella
20. “Stepsisters’ Lament” – Joy, Portia
21. Waltz For A Ball – Chorus
22. Waltz Underscore – Orchestra
23. “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” – Cinderella, Prince
24. Twelve O’Clock – Orchestra


25. Act III Prelude – Orchestra
26. Curtain Music Act III – Orchestra
27. “When You’re Driving Through The Moonlight” – Cinderella, Stepmother, Joy, Portia
28. “A Lovely Night” – Cinderella, Stepmother, Joy, Portia
29. “A Lovely Night” Coda – Cinderella
30. Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful? Underscore – Orchestra
31. “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” Reprise – Queen, Prince
32. The Search – Orchestra
33. Transition To Palace – Orchestra
34. The Slipper Fits – Orchestra
35. “Finale: The Wedding” – Company
36. Bows – Orchestra
37. Exit Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Flute 1
Flute 2 (Doubles Piccolo)
Oboe (Doubles English Horn)
Clarinet 1
Clarinet 2
Bass Clarinet
Horn 1&2
Trumpet 1&2
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Violin A (Divisi)
Violin B (Divisi)
Viola (Divisi)
Cello (Divisi)

DIVISI NOTE: In the pit of the original television production of Cinderella there were 6 players on Violin A, 2 players on Violin B, 2 Violists, 2 Cellists and 2 Bass players.

  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway
  • Dance RequirementsEasy
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra SizeX-Large
  • Chorus SizeLarge


Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!

26 Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Flute 1
1 Flute 2
1 Oboe
1 Clarinet 1
1 Clarinet 2
1 Bass Clarinet
1 Bassoon
2 Horn 1&2
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
2 Percussion
1 Harp
1 Piano-Celeste
2 Violin A
2 Violin B
2 Viola
2 Cello 
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack 

Optional Performance Tracks:
Performance Tracks are available through Sinfonia by Real Time Music Solutions (RMS) at an additional fee. Interested licensees should reach out to RMS directly to secure Sinfonia Performance Tracks.

Additional Material:

Additional song "Loneliness of Evening" is available for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for additional information.

26 Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Logo Pack

Additional Material:

Additional song "Loneliness of Evening" is available for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for additional information.


Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers' contribution to the musical theatre of his day was extraordinary, and his influence on the musical theatre of today and tomorrow is legendary. His career spanned more than six decades, his hits ranging from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright light ...

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Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Hammerstein II was born on July 12, 1895 in New York City. His father, William, was a theatre manager and for many years director of Hammerstein's Victoria, the most popular vaudeville theatre of its day. His uncle, Arthur Hammerstein, was a successful Broadway producer ...

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