The musical “Cinderella” (Broadway Version) ends with a grand wedding scene and the marriage of Ella and the Prince. We did not have a costume suitable for the officiate at the wedding in our costume stock, so we needed to create one. I did want to be careful that it was strictly “representative” of a religious figure. After experiencing the backlash of a public complaint last year from the lyrics in “Omigod You Guys!” I rather felt like I was walking a tightrope for this particular costume.
I went with the white and gold theme for the robes as that coordinated with my wedding scene color palette of neutrals. The gold in the robes is reflected in the metallic gold motif on the front of the tunics the soldiers are wearing. The actual costume was the collaboration between two volunteers.
The hat was made by drawing a pattern on newspaper and adjusting it until the desired shape and size was created. This shape was cut out of the stiff batting from the inside of a set of old crib bumpers. Crib bumpers are a great source of really stiff batting and they can often be found for very little money as the breathable mesh ones are currently more popular. The same pattern (plus seam allowance) was cut from an old sheet, and this was used to make the outer cover. The hat was trimmed with metallic gold ric-rac and gold satin appliques. A modified fleur-de-lis was chosen for the main applique.
The top robe was made from a gold fringed tablecloth. The tablecloth was folded in half and a hole was cut for the neck, with a slit in the front so that it would go over the head of the cast member. The neck was finished with a gold applique/facing, and some gold trim. The lower end of the front slit has some extra stay stitching to help prevent tearing. A similar facing was described in this post, only instead of turning the facing to the inside, it was brought to the outside as a garment detail.
The undertunic is a simple robe made from an old sheet. It has a zip front, and some slits on the sides to facilitate walking. This could be made with a pattern, or could be made similarly to the no-pattern poet shirt described in the linked post above.
And . . that is all there is to it!
I was fortunate to have found the round metallic gold tablecloth. It would be easy to substitute a white or gold fabric and embellish it with gold trim. A textured white tablecloth or bedspread would be a good source of fabric. I liked the way the tall “bishop-styled” hat provided a nice silhouette in the wedding scene.
Cost: tablecloth $2.88, bumper pads: $1.00 (with tons left), donated: sheet, zipper, trim.
3 thoughts on “Religious Figure Costume (From “Cinderella” Broadway Version)”
I definitely agree about the tall hat silhouette being key here. It definitely was needed and worked out beautifully. I am pretty sure my Cinderella wedding officiants had high hats (we would have called them a bishop hat). I think what I did was to do the long rectangle of fabric with the hold for the head and a cross on the chest. That would be similar to something a priest would wear which would be our frame of reference.
I love that tablecloth which just made the whole thing perfect.
Did you really get push back on the Legally Blonde omigod. We were going to do that show years ago and had the perfect leads but that phrase was my concern. I knew we would have to change the words to omigosh. We were at the all girls Catholic school then and I would never want the nuns to feel uncomfortable. I don’t think we would have gotten any community push back but I always wanted to be considerate of the sisters. I was not willing to do the show without getting permission to change the words. My name was on the Contract with the licensing agency and if we had gotten snagged for changing the words it was all me. But, the licensing was held up beyond our date (and actually at least a year after that) so I never had to try for permission. By the time the rights were actually available we didn’t have the right talent.
We did have a complaint about “omigod”, which, is one word. We also had complaints of inappropriate costuming, which I assume was either the (modest) bunny suit (worn over a body leo) or the covered-in-3-layers-of-spandex “belly” of Serena. One of the boys who played (emphasis on ACTED) the part of one of the gay characters was “counseled” in the lobby that “Son, you know that what you are doing is wrong”. We had community members who were willing to step up and voice approval to administration, but, it IS the squeaky wheel that is heard. We joke around now that we would have to do “Golly Gee Yankees” . It’s a super fun show though, and I love, love, love the music.
I think that living in the North East and very close to NYC we would never get push back on a gay character and I think our audience is fairly open minded about the costumes. The Jesuit boys school I used to costume for just did Rent and have done several edgier shows. We didn’t have to do the school edition of Grease at the current school. But I like to err on the side of not giving anyone a chance to have an issue (not that you are ever going to keep everyone happy).