BWW Blog: R+H CINDERELLA's Cody Williams - Magical Moments
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by Guest Blogger: Cody Williams
What do you think was going through Philippa Bevans' head as she tucked Julie Andrews into bed, as the budding star sang "I Could Have Danced All Night" during rehearsals for the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady? Do you think she knew how special that moment was? Do you think she maybe had an inkling of how iconic Julie Andrews would become? I bet she did. As I listen to Laura Osnes sing "Impossible" while I drive her to the ball, I find myself wondering the same thing. Will this be the moment in my life that my daughter one day has me describe to her over and over again?
One of the perks of being in show business is that every once and a while you run into some pretty magical moments. During my freshman year at Cincinnati (CCM), I got to see my best friend perform his favorite song for the man who wrote it. I've also gotten to work and become friends with people who have been famous to me for as long as I've lived. As show people, we are lucky to have these magic moments come up every once and a while.
Yesterday, I sat with Paul Huntley (who is essentially the Alexander the Great of Hair and Wig Design) in his gorgeous home and had Levain cookies. He told me how his mom's love of getting dolled up is what made him so fascinated with hair and make up. When he was six and she would drop him off at school, the other British school boys would say, "You're mom is the Painted Lady!" and he would respond with absolute delight, "I know!"
The day before yesterday, I sat with another living legend, William Ivey Long, as I tried on the coolest costume anyone has ever made for me. I couldn't help but wonder if years from now that costume would be flown down to DC to be displayed with Cinderella's ball gown, slippers, and carriage in the American History Smithsonian. I have cherished the opportunity to get to know William and his remarkable team of artists.
Earlier this fall our choreographer, Josh Rhodes, asked me to take part in a fundraiser at a place called Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. I had never heard of the place, but it didn't matter because I was just thrilled to be dancing with Josh. When I got there, I realized that I was at a very special place. Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is the most beautiful summer camp you could ever dream of. Paul Newman built it so that kids with serious illnesses could have a place where they could "raise a little hell" at no cost to their parents. The list of performers that have volunteered to raise money for this camp is unmatched. Those of us who went with Josh shared a dressing room space with Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella (Timon and Pumbaa) and Itzhak Perlman. I felt so honored to be in their company! What really moved me at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was making friends with the campers. One of our friends, Charlie, was very sad when he broke his prosthetic leg doing a cartwheel in the show. We told him that he should be proud because "break a leg" means good luck in theatre. That made him so happy that the camp planned to frame the leg and hang it backstage.
The number of times I have experienced one of these magical moments because of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella is astounding. I'll admit that I knew working on this show would be a magical experience from the very first moment I opened the script. I will not give away any secrets, but from the moment I read the first stage direction, I knew this was going to be an experience I would always remember. Trust me, you will know what I mean about that first stage direction when you see the show!!!!!!!
If you are excited about seeing Rodgers +Hammerstein's Cinderella follow me on twitter @odyilliams