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    THEATER: Cinderella’s Dashing, Talented Prince Was Raised By a Lesbian Couple

    We are falling in love with the Cinderella tale all over again, thanks to the Broadway show of the same name that SHN presents in San Francisco from May 3–8. First, there are the beautiful Rodgers & Hammerstein songs. Second, the lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all of the moments so many of us remember as kids: the pumpkin, glass slipper, masked ball and more. Last but not least, there is the talented cast, with Andy Huntington Jones as the male lead, Prince Topher.

    In real life, Huntington Jones was raised by a lesbian couple in Massachusetts, and calls himself “one of the first gaybies.” He walked his two moms down the aisle! What’s more, he is married to Audrey Cardwell, another member of the Cinderella cast. She is a swing, which refers to someone who understudies several chorus and/or dancing roles. We love that there are layer upon layer of happily ever afters associated with Huntington Jones and this production.

    We had a great time catching up with him before he heads to the Orpheum Theatre for the San Francisco stop on the national tour.

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    San Francisco Bay Times: You have such a lovely voice with an incredible range. Did you ever study opera? In any case, please tell us a bit about your background, training and how you became interested in musical theater.

    Andy Huntington Jones: I’ve always been obsessed with musical theatre. Doomed from the beginning. I started studying voice in high school and got a B.F.A from the University of Michigan where I majored in Musical Theatre (lots of Rodgers and Hammerstein!) and studied voice with the voice department. I was terrible at opera. That was never an option for me. Musical Theatre was always my niche. It wasn’t until I was understudying Prince Topher in the Broadway production of Cinderella that I realized how badly I needed to continue studying in the city. Before my first performance as Topher, our incredible music director set me up with a voice teacher in New York and I’ve worked with him just about every week since.

    San Francisco Bay Times: You are in incredible shape! We don’t remember Prince Topher/Charming from other productions ever being so buff. Is the role a very physical one and do you have to work out regularly, even while on tour?

    Andy Huntington Jones: Josh Rhodes has choreographed some stunningly beautiful dances with some really difficult lifts, so it’s important to me to make sure I’m in good shape or else I run the risk of injury. Working out is easier for me on the road than in New York because our wonderful company managers set up new gyms for us in every city. It’s hard to get bored with a gym routine if you are constantly accustoming to new spaces. While working out feels easier on the road, eating well feels exponentially harder. We live in hotels, often without kitchens, and have to make take-out menus work. Not always easy.

    San Francisco Bay Times: Your charisma and stage presence are so evident. We love how your Prince Topher is very masculine, yet is not afraid to be gentle, to hit the ultra high notes and more, perhaps stretching the traditional boundaries of