MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — Call it a new twist on a classic tale. Cinderella is no longer a damsel in distress. She’s tough and assertive, epitomizing girl power and she rebels against outdated norms of how women are seen.

That is at the center of the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, “Bad Cinderella,” opening at the Imperial Theater Thursday night.

Linedy Genao plays the lead role.

“She’s a rebel,” said Genao. “She speaks her mind. She’s not going to stay quiet when something is said that she doesn’t believe in. She stays true to who she is.”

“Bad Cinderella” is a modern re-telling of a fairytale by one of the biggest names on Broadway – the legendary composer Lloyd Webber missed opening night of one of his shows for the first time.

“He has left a body of work that no matter where he is, his impact is felt,” said actor Wendell Pierce. “While he may not be here physically, he is here spiritually.”

Lloyd Webber remained in London to be with his gravely ill son, who is battling cancer. His daughter, Imogen Lloyd Webber spoke with PIX11 News on the red carpet opening night.

“For both Nick and dad this show is very special to them,” said Lloyd Webber. “My brother helped produce it during lockdown, he was a nominated for a Grammy for that, and Bad Cinderella really connects with young audiences.“

Genao is the first Latina to originate a leading role in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. She has her own Cinderella story in her journey to Broadway. The Brooklyn-born Dominican American moved to Hamden, Conn. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a business degree and was working in banking when she started going to open casting calls for acting jobs. The rest is history.

“It is the honor of my life. It’s just a huge responsibility,” said Genao. “I never had a princess growing up that I could relate to, that had a name like me had an accent like me, and so I only hope and pray this inspires even one person to see themselves represented and to hopefully see themselves as a princess.”

Billed as an unconventional fairytale, Prince Charming is presumed dead, and there is a new central character – Charming’s brother, Sebastien, who becomes the new heir apparent and seeks to marry a princess.

Other characters are still there – the wicked stepmother and the stepsisters. One of the stepsisters, Adele, is played by Sami Gayle.  “Feeling the energy of a live audience every single night is unparallel,” said Gayle.  

Others are celebrating the musical’s messages of diversity and inclusivity. For example, the original Wonder Woman – Lynda Carter – draws parallels between her superhero character and this Cinderella.

“Wonder Woman was bad too she didn’t know she was and rebellious,” said Carter.