Cinderella Eats Rice & Beans
A Salsa Fairytale

Book & Lyrics by Karen Zacarías
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Published by Dramatic Publishing.

Upcoming Productions


What will happen to Cinderella at the ball…game? That’s the surprising climactic question in this contemporary Latin-American Cinderella Musical, which delightfully turns the classic fairy tale on its head, telling the story from both Cinderella and the “step-sister’s” perspective.

(Zacarias) uses humor expertly …creating a recognizable everyday situation to reel in her young audience …Songs by La Puma add grace notes and drive the message home in cheerful bursts.” – Jane Horowitz, The Washington Post


New Village Arts, Carlsbad, CA

Cinderella Eats Rice & Beans was commissioned and premiered by Imagination Stage in 2003 under the direction of Kate Breyer. It is a featured play in the book Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latino/a Theatre for Young Audiences.

This contemporary rap salsa musical has a delightful story based on a fairy tale that is familiar to us all … [it] is about popularity, about being one’s self, respect for yourself and for others … this is a wonderful show.” —

Musical Numbers



3. DOS POR DOS - Cinderella, Padrino

4. ZAPATOS MAGICOS - Cinderella
4. ZAPATOS MAGICOS - Cinderella


6. COMPARISON RAP - Rosa, Padrino

7. IN YOUR SHOES - Rosa, Cinderella



Buy the demo from Bandcamp.

LightBox Theatre Company, Turlock, CA

Latin twist spices up ‘Cinderella’…chock-full of lively songs…Zacarias gives us a fresh setup for the Cinderella story” – Pam DeFiglio, Chicago Daily Herald

Production Elements

Rosa and Padrino at Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD production
Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD

Cast: 2 Women, 2 Men

CINDERELLA (CENICIENTA) – A 6th grader from Puerto Rico visiting the United States to learn English.
ROSA – The wicked-cool “step” sister. Loves pop music, basketball and being popular.

JOEY – Rosa’s best friend & head of the pep squad. Also plays NARRATOR.
PADRINO – The Almost-Fairy-Godfather.

Music: Salsa, Cumbia, Hip-hop, Rap. Accompaniment tracks available.
Musical Difficulty: Low
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Suggested Audiences Elementary/Families


KAREN ZACARÍAS (Book & Lyrics) is hailed by American Theater Magazine as one of the ten most produced playwrights in the U.S. and the most produced Latina playwright in the nation. Her comedy Native Gardens,  about race, class, plants, and fences, hit a political zeitgeist and was one of the top produced plays of 2019. Her musical homage to the telenovela Destiny of Desire, “a terrifically entertaining theatrical roller coaster”(Charles McNulty, LA Times) has sold-out the largest regional theaters from East to West (Arena Stage, The Goodman, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and is now heading to Broadway. Her gripping drama The Copper Children,  about a controversial child separation case in 1905, just had an acclaimed world premiere at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and her bilingual translation of Romeo y Juliet will premiere at California Shakespeare Festival in September of 2021.  Other award-winning plays include  The Book Club PlayLegacy of LightMariela in the DesertThe Sins of Sor Juana, and the adaptations of Just Like UsInto the Beautiful North, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. Her work has also been produced at The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Goodman, South Coast Rep, and many more.

Karen is also one of the most produced children’s theater playwrights in the country. She is the author of ten renowned TYA musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma including Ella Enchanted, Einstein is a Dummy, Ferdinand the Bull, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Chasing George Washington, Jane of the Jungle, and Frida Libre.  Karen is also the author of the Marvel play Squirrel Girl Goes to College, and the librettist of several Ballets. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons – a large national organization of artists seeking to update the American narrative with the stories of Latinos – and she is the founder of the award-winning Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT). YPT was cited by the Obama administration as one of the best arts-education programs on the nation.

Karen was voted 2019 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine for her advocacy work involving the arts. She is an inaugural 2019 Sine Fellow for Policy Innovation at American University for advocating for the intersectionality of art and policy and was selected by The League of Professional Theatre Women to receive the 2019 Lee Reynolds Award given annually to a woman in theater who has helped illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. She was awarded the 2019 Medallion by the Children’s Theater Foundation of America for excellence and craft and a 2019 speaker at TEDEX Broadway. A graduate of Stanford University and Boston University, Karen lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children. She is represented by the Gersh Agency.

DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (music) – see her bio page


Buy the demo from Bandcamp.

Buy the script from Dramatic Publishing.

Chicago Playworks, Photo Credit: John Bridges

Vocal Work Out! CD

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