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Audiences dazzled as curtain closes on Cinderella

A hugely successful 6 show season of The Empire's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella comes to an end.

Audiences dazzled as ~curtain closes on Cinderella~

The Empire Theatre has had all its wishes granted, following a hugely successful and sparkling season of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella which departed Toowoomba by pumpkin carriage on Saturday 23 March.

First premiering in New York in 2013, the Tony Award® winning Broadway musical takes a romantic comedy spin on the classic tale musical featuring new characters, a hilarious libretto, surprising twists and an unforgettable score.

Opening to a full house on Friday 15 March, the modernised re-telling of Cinderella received rave reviews thanks to its beautiful songs, mesmerising dances, dazzling stage design and theatrical magic.

The 6-night season attracted a total audience of 6,500 people; all eager to soak up some fairy dust and have a ball with the musical’s beloved cast, including Shannon Gralow as Ella and Gabriel Tiller as Prince Topher.

Director Tim Hill, along with Musical Director Craig Renshaw, Choreographer Tess Hill and Scenic Designer Frances Story brought the work to life, alongside 85 arts-workers, 25 local performers, 13 local musicians and 8 local backstage singers. 

Spearheaded by Costume Designer Debra Nairn, audiences were dazzled by the musical’s incredible costumes, with more than 150 individually made pieces worn by the cast each night, including two on-stage costume transformations.

The Empire’s General Manager Giuliana Bonel said the season was a runway success not only for the iconic theatre but also for the vibrant Toowoomba community it serves.

“It was truly a pleasure to welcome thousands of locals and visitors to The Empire to experience the enchantment of Cinderella in Australia’s most beautiful art deco theatre”, she said.

“The Empire was thrilled to work alongside 27 local businesses in bringing this renowned musical to life; the support of whom was absolutely critical.

The success of Cinderella has brought us immense joy - not only for the profound impact it has had on our community and local businesses but also for the spirit of unity it has ignited.

Giuliana Bonel - General Manager, The Empire

The Empire Board Chairman Mr Andrew Wielandt said he was overjoyed by the impact of Cinderella for both the community and local businesses involved.

“As a result of Cinderella, audiences alone injected more than $360,000 into the region’s visitor economy over the six-night season,” he said.

“From concept to curtain call, this production has exemplified the remarkable spirit of our community, reinforcing The Empire's role as a cultural beacon for all to cherish and celebrate.”

Merchandise proved particularly popular too, with The Empire team selling almost 1,000 glass slipper pins, souvenir programmes, tote bags and more.

Produced by The Empire, Cinderella was proudly supported by Friends of The Empire, Ryley Jewellery Creations, The Empire Foundation, Wearing Memories Wine Merchants, The Ninth Middle Ridge, Toowoomba Central Plaza Apartment Hotel, Grand Central Shopping Centre, Southerden's Florist, Milton & King, The Chronicle, Triple M Darling Downs 864, hit100.7 Darling Downs, Bishopp Outdoor Advertising and 7 Toowoomba.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella played at The Empire from 15 – 23 March 2024.

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Empire Theatre