A Realistic Fairy Tale

November 1997--There's a lot of nostalgia attendant on the new film production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, to be televised November 2 on ABC. It is an updated version of a musical first broadcast live, starring Julie Andrews, in 1957. It will air under the banner of The Wonderful World of Disney, itself a staple of 1950s TV. And the palace of Prince Charming was created on Stage 26 at Sony Studios, formerly the home of MGM--the same stage where Dorothy first met up with the Scarecrow and Tin Man on the Yellow Brick Road.

"We had quite the heritage behind us," says Randy Ser, production designer of the $12 million show, which stars Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Bernadette Peters as the Wicked Stepmother, Paolo Montalban as the Prince, and Whoopi Goldberg as the Queen. Film history's involvement in the project didn't stop there: village scenes were shot on Universal's backlot, on the same streets where the Frankenstein monster walked, in 1931.