Andrew Lloyd Webber’s troubled ‘Cinderella’ heads to Broadway with changes — and a new title


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cinderella” is coming to Broadway after all — and, like the main character, she’s getting an extreme makeover.

First, they’re ditching the title that confused Brits because they associate the princess with Christmas pantomimes, and would have stumped Americans because they’d expect Rodgers and Hammerstein or Disney. 

For its run at the Imperial Theatre beginning Feb. 17, 2023 (one day before Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” shoves the old chandelier in a storage unit), the show has been renamed “Bad Cinderella.” 

The only other time Lloyd Webber gave a different moniker to a show after a major West End run was when he changed “Jeeves” to “By Jeeves.” But a “By” ain’t a “Bad.” Tell us what you think of the title “Bad Cinderella” in the comments, readers!

There will also be a brand-new star. Playing the rebellious re-envisioned Cinders, here a spitfire who goes on angry tirades and covers the town in graffiti, is not the West End’s lead Carrie Hope Fletcher, but Linedy Genao, who was previously on Broadway in the ensemble of the Gloria Estefan show “On Your Feet.”

A source told The Post there will also be a revised book from “Promising Young Woman” Oscar-winner Emerald Fennell (another source said she is not involved anymore at all, despite being credited, and a different writer will fix the wonky script), as well as redone set and costume designs. 

Original director Laurence Connor, choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter and lyricist David Zippel are all still on board.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Bad Cinderella" is headed to the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Bad Cinderella” is headed to the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

One major moment that will need to be totally rethought — and I gather that it hasn’t yet — is the grand ball scene. At the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London, the audience members in the pricey seats rotated around the stage a la Disney World and got a much needed thrill. That can’t happen at the Imperial, and ticket-buyers won’t watch actors waltz for seven straight minutes.

Will this struggling show get a storybook ending?

When “Cinderella” opened in London’s West End in August 2021 after a long pandemic delay, the London critics — who hadn’t seen a live musical in two years — were enthusiastic. A happy Lloyd Webber told The Post at the Tonys in September of that year his show would likely arrive on Broadway this summer.

Andrew Lloyd Webber announces his show will come to Broadway, with a new lead and title, next year.
Andrew Lloyd Webber announces his show will come to Broadway, with a new lead and title, next year.
Credit: Emilio Madrid

I saw the show a month after my generous British colleagues and was less amused, calling the book “joyless,” the direction “plodding and one-note” and the designs “drab and forgettable.” Lloyd Webber’s score, no surprise, has a few nice ballads. The review reportedly turned the composer of “Evita” into, well, Evita.

The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye reported that “Lloyd Webber was so incensed by what ran in the Post … that he took it out on the cast, berating them down the phone from his Mallorca holiday home.” The UK paper also said Lloyd Webber pledged to shut down the show to make “adjustments.” 

He did, and the revisions, I’m told, were minor. The composer wrote no new songs between the first workshop and final performance in London. Lloyd Webber also told the Mail the story was “all nonsense.” It wasn’t. Ask anybody in the cast.

The set, designs, book and cast from London's "Cinderella" (above) will all be different for Broadway.
The set, designs, book and cast from London’s “Cinderella” (above) will all be different for Broadway.
Dave Benett/Getty Images

The show closed in London early — and dramatically — in June, after less than a year. Connor read a letter from Lloyd Webber to the audience on closing night.

“It might have been a costly mistake,” the disastrous letter, which offended everyone in the room, read. “But I am proud of what we did and will forever be grateful to everyone who supported me.” The crowd at the Gillian Lynne Theatre booed and the phrase “costly mistake” became a joke online. That fracas came after the enraged actors and crew found out their show was shuttering via social media.

Like Cinderelly, Cinderelly, Lloyd Webber is looking for a fresh start for his troubled show. Time will tell whether Broadway proves to be “Bad Cinderella”’s fairy godmother or her cruel, indifferent stepmother.