Linedy Genao is a "real-life Cinderella" in Broadway's 'Bad Cinderella'
The musical opens on March 23.
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Being the first Latina to star in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical doesn't make Linedy Genao feel any pressure despite the stakes. She's starring as Cinderella in Lloyd Webber's upcoming Bad Cinderella musical.
“Brooklyn native Linedy Genao is a true Cinderella story. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Connecticut, she began a career in banking. However, after receiving a message encouraging her to audition for the first open call of Gloria & Emilio Estefan’s On Your Feet!, her life changed forever. With only high school theater experience, Linedy landed her first Broadway-bound show, On Your Feet!, and hasn’t stopped since!” reads the playbill for Bad Cinderella.
Billed as a new and avant-garde version of the classic fairy tale, the production stands out for its multicultural cast and a message that goes against traditional norms of beauty and behavior.
A real-life Cinderella
A recent NBC News report highlighted how Genao auditioned for several top drama schools while in high school, but was rejected by all of them. However, show business would end up eventually opening the doors to her.
After studying business administration at the University of Connecticut, which led her to work in the banking industry, and relegated her artistic side to acting in community theater productions. However, seven years ago, a friend told her about an open call for On Your Feet!, the musical based on the life story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
“I took a selfie on my iPhone 4. I printed it out at Walgreens because I didn’t have a headshot,” Genao said. “Then I went to the auditions, with just my high school and community theater credits... and I got in the show!”
In addition to 2015's On Your Feet!, Genao has appeared on Broadway in Dear Evan Hansen and in regional productions of West Side Story and In the Heights.
Regarding her character, Genao said: “What I like about her is that she is sassy, speaks her mind and is unapologetically herself. She takes up space and is authentic in the way that she conducts herself. She is not afraid of being herself.”
A little recap of the week:— Bad Cinderella on Broadway (@badcinderella) March 17, 2023
OPENING WEEK LET’S GO!
: Josh Drake pic.twitter.com/yYoRnU22n2
A multicultural Cinderella
Underscoring the importance of the musical's multicultural cast, NBC News also highlighted a 2022 report from the Actors Equity Association — the union for theater performers — that found between 2019 and 2020, only 4.1% of union contracts nationwide went to Latinos. The research also showed that Broadway audiences are about three-fourths white.
“My Brooklyn-Dominican accent is there in some of the joke lines... I feel very much myself in this role, which is beautiful and also a little scary. I just connect with myself and my background and everything else I’ve been through, along with the story of Cinderella that we’ve all grown up with,” said Genao, who was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Connecticut.
Other Latinos in Bad Cinderella
The show's multicultural cast also includes other Latinos such as:
- Ángel Lozada, a member of the ensemble
- Julio Rey, a substitute for Prince Sebastián
“It has been so cool to be in this space as a Latino, and to have other Latinos here as well; there is a sense of our home and our culture in this space. We have been asked to bring our whole selves to these roles, not just part of ourselves, so I feel like my Latinidad is being celebrated in this process,” said Lozada.
For his part, Rey said he thinks diversity of the kind found in Bad Cinderella is the way of the future and will only continue to improve.