Holiday Magic: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Paper Mill Playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse will be serving up some magic just in time for the holidays with their latest production, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This modern take on a beloved classic will feature music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II respectively, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane.

Ashley Blanchet will play Ella, the production’s contemporary Cinderella. Blanchet says, “It’s a blast to get a chance to play this role, a dream come true!”

Ella is an active participant in her story, Blanchet notes, where she grows with the Prince and they inspire each other. These twists and tweaks to the classic fairy tale are a joy, she says, and the show is perfect to take all children, boys and girls alike, to see.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Paper Mill Playhouse; Ashley Blanchet (Ella); photo by
Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Blanchet, a self-proclaimed, proud New Yorker, was born in Westchester County. At age four, she began taking ballet and was inspired by her cousin, a principle dancer. By eight, she dreamed of becoming an actor. At 13, her family moved to Massachusetts where she attended the prestigious Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Their year-round performing arts program allowed her to get focused on music, theater and dance, helping her develop her skills. She went on to attend the University of Michigan to obtain her BFA in Musical Theatre.

Singing the work of Rodgers & Hammerstein is personally meaningful to Blanchet, having been raised to appreciate musical theater. She grew up watching the golden age musicals on TV and developed a fondness for Oklahoma! She recently performed the role of Ado Annie in Oklahoma! with the Pittsburgh CLO, which she said was an amazing opportunity to sing the songs she grew up with.

Blanchet hopes this production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella will leave the audience with a magical holiday feeling. The soaring music, all the lights, and the spirit of the show all contribute to a wonderful experience that’s fun for the holidays.

What’s next for Blanchet? She can’t say just yet. She hopes in the future to “create something new, something beautiful from scratch.”

Performances of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella will begin Wednesday, November 20, 2019, and will continue through Sunday, December 29, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn). The performance schedule is November 20 – 24: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Performance schedule November 27 – December 29: Wednesdays at 7:00pm, Thursdays at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Fridays at 7:00pm, Saturdays at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets start at $32.

Paper Mill Playhouse will present a special AUTISM-FRIENDLY performance of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on December 26, at 1:30PM. For more information please visit

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