A real Cinderella story from the girl who will play Ella at Bass Concert Hall

Tatyana Lubov plays Ella in "Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella."  Carol Rosegg
Tatyana Lubov plays Ella in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Carol Rosegg

Tatyana Lubov has her own Cinderella story. The Cottage Grove, Wisc.-native stars in the modern adaptation of “Cinderella,” which will be on stage Dec. 6-11 at Bass Concert Hall as part of the Broadway in Austin series.

Lubov, 23, had moved to New York four months before an open call for the touring show of “Cinderella” was announced. She showed up and was number 412 on the list. She didn’t get seen that day, but the casting directors let the crowd of disappointed actors know that they could submit a video instead.

She did, “but I didn’t at all think it would get seen,” Lubov says.

Six callbacks later, she got the part of Ella.

“It’s pretty incredible,” she says.

She knew that the director liked her, possibly because of her upbringing in a small town near Madison, Wisc. Something the director brought up a lot was “never try to be nice, never try to act nice. It’s something that’s in you,” she says. Being nice is just part of her upbringing. “Nice was how I was raised,” she says. “I definitely shared what Ella’s morals would be.”

Unlike Ella, she has two, very alive parents, who are a choir director and a composer, and an older brother instead of wicked step-sisters. Her brother, though, could be wicked. “I would always be crying, and he would look angry,” she says. “We had a rough growing up together. Now we’re best friends. It’s funny how that worked out.”

Tatyana Lubov and Hayden Stanes dance in "Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella." Carol Rosegg
Tatyana Lubov and Hayden Stanes dance in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Carol Rosegg

Lubov has always loved the story of Cinderella, and always thought she looked like her. “She was my favorite princess,” she says. Yet, this Ella is a much stronger version of Cinderella. “She’s not a girl looking to be rescued,” she says. “She has her own ideas. She’s very strong.”

And that’s what makes her an inspiration to young girls, Lubov says.

Yes, there’s still a fairy godmother, but, Lubov says, the magic comes from the Ella’s decision to follow her dreams and go to the ball.

Also different is that Ella encourages the prince to open his eyes and see the world around him outside of the castle. “She gives him all of these ideas of how to run the kingdom,” Lubov says. No shrinking violets here.

For Lubov, the parallel of making dreams come true brought her to New York, where she worked as a waiter for a caterer, a nanny and dressing up as Elsa from “Frozen” for birthday parties. In summer, she worked at a resort singing at night and working as a chamber maid during the day.

Now six nights a week, she dons a ballgown and dances with a prince and sings her favorite song: “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 6-11, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and  1 p.m. Dec. 11

Where: Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive

Tickets: $30-$125

Information: BroadwayinAustin.com

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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