The Emmy-winning ABC television event Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, was produced by Whitney Houston and Storyline Entertainment for the Wonderful World of Disney, and reached an estimated audience of 60 million before going on to be a success on video and DVD.
Robert was nominated for the Writers Guild Award for Cinderella. His script was adapted from the 1957 version, which starred Julie Andrews as Cinderella and was the highest rated television special of its time.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote it specifically for television, something they had never done before, and it was remade in 1965, in living color, with Leslie Ann Warren as Cinderella. The 1997 version, directed by Robert Iscove, featured a multi-racial cast, with Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother, Bernadette Peters as her Stepmother, Victor Garber as the King, Jason Alexander as Lionel (a character created for this version), Paolo Montalban as the Prince, and Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle as the Stepsisters.
“Falling In Love With Love,” a song by Rodgers and Hart, was interpolated into the story (in the other versions, the Stepmother never had her own song), and Rodgers’ own “The Sweetest Sounds” (written after Hammerstein’s death for the musical No Strings) was sung by Brandy in the film’s opening. An obscure R&H song, “There’s Music In You,” was adapted for Whitney Houston to sing in the film’s finale. A stage version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, adapted from Robert’s teleplay and starring Eartha Kitt and Paulo Montalban, recently completed a national tour.