Alhambra emerges from shutdown to present classic ‘Cinderella’

Alhambra poster for upcoming 'Cinderella'

How could anyone not love the music in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic Cinderella? Now The Alhambra, legendary dinner theatre in Jacksonville, will present the musical this summer. The show opens on June 11 and runs through July 26. I learned about this production this morning via a Facebook post by a musician I interviewed recently.

I’ve never seen the show live. I got hooked on this musical when I was in high school, and my family watched as Stuart Damon and Lesley Ann Warren made magic on screen. The story is timeless, a classic belle in distress setup. The music from the remarkable team of Rodgers and Hammerstein was astounding.

I learned about the upcoming production when I read Jennifer Hudson’s Facebook post this morning. Hudson does a Facebook Live show, ‘Pangenic’, on her personal page. She is also director of choral and dramatic activities at Providence School of Jacksonville. As if that’s not enough to stay busy, Hudson sings with The Voices of Jacksonville, the adult pro ensemble of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus.

Jacksonville musician and vocalist Jennifer Hudson
Jacksonville musician and vocalist Jennifer Hudson will fill the role of the fairy godmother in The Alhambra Theatre’s production of ‘Cinderella’ this summer. (Image: Facebook)

Now Hudson will add one more item to her accomplishments—she auditioned for and won the role of the fairy godmother in The Alhambra’s summer production of ‘Cinderella’. Possibly anticipating big demand, The Alhambra announced on their website, “Cinderella may be booked through the box office only. Please call 904.641.1212 to make your reservations!”

I recently wrote about Hudson who took members of the Providence Chorale to Ireland for a music festival that ended up canceled, and to say that trip was an adventure is an understatement.

Hudson was very excited about announcing her upcoming role in ‘Cinderella’, and she thanked all those who’ve encouraged her to go after her dreams. “I haven’t used my voice like this in a very long time…I’m most excited and very thrilled,“ she said. With a smile, she reminded everyone on her Facebook page of lyrics familiar in Richard Rogers’ song “Impossible”: “Keep trying—‘Impossible things are happening every day.’”

Alhambra poster for upcoming 'Cinderella'
Image from alhambrajax.com

Those who’ve never experienced a live show and dinner at The Alhambra are in for a treat. Attending an event there makes any occasion even more special. The Alhambra is a true Jacksonville gem, and I’m betting the summer shows will book quickly. I’m hoping to arrange my schedule to be able to go to one.

(Kay B. Day/May 20, 2020)

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