Gabrielle is the “good” Stepsister in “Cinderella” (Broadway Version). She is much more aware of Ella and her plight, and often will make attempts at kindness to temper Madame’s cruelty. She eventually befriends Ella and despite the social ambitions of her mother, and the oblivious selfishness of her sister Charlotte, chooses true love Jean-Micheal.
The Stepsisters, by virtue of the tale and tradition, are unpleasant or “ugly” in some manner. In the original version of R & H “Cinderella” I find them to be much more caricatures than this version, and that may be because Gabrielle, being a part of the secondary love story, needs to have a more complex and appealing character. I chose to dress them similar to the rest of the cast, but not quite. Charlotte, as described in previous posts was “more”, and Gabrielle is “off”. My definition of “off” is not-quite-in-synch, and I chose to do that with style and fabrics.
We also chose to play up the difference in height between Gabrielle and Charlotte. Gabrielle is dressed in narrower garments with more vertical lines. Common themes among her outfits include a bright pink, floral prints, and divided poof sleeves. Her Soup Kitchen dress is also made from the same blue fabric as the corset top that Ella wears.
Gabrielle begins the show wearing the same “Foxtail” hairpiece from Wildcat Wigs that Charlotte wears. This provides her with vertical height, and also serves nicely for the “Bavarian Pretzel” hairdo Madame refers to. She switches this out for a curled clip-in for the Ball and the rest of the show.
Gabrielle opens the show with her Market Dress.
The Market Dress is a three-layered dress. The jacket is a floral brocade with a peplum waist and an almost Victorian looking bustle-back. The dress is floor length, and she wears a petticoat underneath. The pink overskirt is trimmed with metallic lace. Gabrielle wears several floral pattern garments in the show. These are the only such fabrics in the show. The layers of her dress are meant to reflect the layered look of the villagers, but obviously, they are more ornate. The brown dress with the slightly raised waist provides a strong vertical look to her costume. The brown also pulls more toward the forest colors worn by the Villagers and Jean-Micheal. She accessorizes with wire rim glasses and a small feather “hat” (which does not interfere with her hair).
While her dress trends toward the Villagers, she coordinates with her sister Charlotte in her hair, the short peplum jacket, the floor length dress, and the lace frills at the wrists. They carry matching miniature packages, and both have decorative hats.
Gabrielle continues her pink theme with her Ball Gown. The dress features silver metallic tulle sleeves, waist ruffles and bows. The heavy tulle overskirt has silver beading, and with the gap in the front creates a vertical line. The long sleeves have tiered poofs. The dress is in line with the Ball gowns worn by the chorus members, but it is a little on the awkward side. This goes along with the way my cast member played Gabrielle. She was endearingly goofy, and I think her dress helped play that up.
She wore a feathered hairpiece with matching tulle trim, and swarovski gems up the spine of the feather for bling. She had sequin loops that also coordinated with Charlotte.
Her dress does not have a hoop, but it does have built-in petticoat net that shows nice layers as she dances.
Pink Transformation Dress:
Gabrielle wears a pink Banquet Dress for a very brief period of time. She offers to switch dresses with Ella so that Ella can go to the Banquet, and she will stay home and meet up with Jean-Micheal to go to the soup kitchen. This dress is a duplicate of the transforming dress that Ella wears. The peplum top is poofed with petticoat net in Gabrielle’s version, and will disguise the transformation dress in Ella’s.
Soup Kitchen Dress:
Gabrielle switches out of her pink Banquet Dress, and emerges in her Soup Kitchen dress.
This was a fairly fast change for Gabrielle, so the corset is mock, and is attached to the skirt with a long zipper in the back. The floral underdress is separate. This is the second floral print that she wears. The dress does have the layered look and colors similar to the Villagers, but, it is floor length, has a slimmer vertical look, and she does not wear a bum pad. The sleeves have lace frills. As with her Market Dress, this is a pretty dress, but the time period is just a little “off”. It is like she is trying to be a Villager, but, doesn’t quite make it.
The overdress is made from the same fabric as the corset top that Ella wears. Jean-Micheal also wears a blue jacket.
Gabrielle closes out the show attending the wedding. Jean-Michael has been elected Prime Minister, and so she is dressing accordingly.
This is an off-white dress with a pale pink underskirt and pale pink poofed sleeves made of a glitter tulle. The sleeves are trimmed with lace. The train is (mostly) bustles up on the sides and in the back. This dress does have a bow, which connects her to Charlotte.
Gabrielle was a fun character to dress, and the cast member did a great job using her costumes to accentuate and built her character.