See The Other Side of Happily-Ever-After in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s 'Cinderella'

 In Culture

Many girls who grow up with the “Cinderella” fairy-tale fantasize about (literally) being in the heroine’s shoes, slipping on the glass heel and becoming the beautiful princess. Being wicked, on the other hand, allows one to step into a completely different set of shoes.

Photo courtesy of The Fox Theatre

Photo courtesy of The Fox Theatre

Actress Beth Glover knows this version of happily-ever-after quite well. “I’ve always been drawn to those (evil) characters in fairytales…on the stage you’re given a license to be someone else, to be mean,” she says.

She plays Madame, the wicked stepmother, in the Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” which makes a stop on its nationwide tour at the Fabulous Fox Theatre Jan. 20-Feb. 1.

“All women I have played have a core—something they draw from to survive,” Glover says of her previous roles. “But Madame doesn’t even have a crumbling part about her. She can withstand anything.”

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s version puts a twist on the classic tale, and Glover brings further depth to the production through her character’s portrayal. “She is blinded by a hunger for power and holds much bitterness after her husband’s death—having to take care of three girls by herself—and blames Cinderella” says Glover.

Because all fairytales must have obstacles, Glover calls her role a “necessary evil.” She forces Cinderella to chase her dreams despite the stepmother’s pushback, much like real-life challenges that must be overcome.

“I like that she is mean a lot, but not all of the time,” says Glover. “There are moments interacting with the daughters, like in ‘A Lovely Night,’ that you get a glimpse of what her household could be like if she wasn’t so resentful.”

As Madame works to gain forgiveness from Cinderella, Glover says she in turn hopes to gain favor from the audience. By the show’s conclusion, the stepmother is not necessarily the role that everyone “loves to hate.”

In the end, maybe playing wicked isn’t so bad after all.

Tickets for “Cinderella” start at $25. For more information, visit

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