cinderesearch: leslie ann warren in 1965

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When I was little, my family regularly crowded around our tiny tv set for a viewing of the 1965 CBS television version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I would often block the screen with my passionate interpretation of Leslie Ann Warren’s epic post-ball backyard ballet solo, straining my neck in an effort to emulate her swanny proportions. The film’s credits would always be followed by my encore performance of “In My Own Little Corner”, complete with a tiny wooden chair, original choreography, and spirited singing. My mother graciously applauded every time, bless her heart.

In preparation for this week’s performances, I’m rewatching my childhood favorites (as I write this, clips of Julie Andrews in the 1957 live CBS special are on a loop and Evans-family-favorite Ever After is up next), gathering inspiration with a heaping side of nostalgia. This particular Cinderella’s world feels so very ’60s, in a wash of bright orange, pea green, and brown. It all harkens a very October tale, sets and costumes reflecting autumn colors fit to accompany the eerie Prokofiev score rolling around in my mind. I’m studying the longing look in Warren’s eyes, the soft lifting in her brows and the twisting of her mouth as she smiles shyly toward the prince…

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