Thanks to Dan for this article!
Baltimore Review: OnLine Broadway

Reviewed in Baltimore, Maryland at the
Morris A Mechanic Theatre 
Reviewed December 2000Director: Gabriel Barre

Music: Richard Rodgers 
Book & Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II 
Stage Adaptation: Tom Brigs from the teleplay by Robert L Freedman 
Cast Reviewed: Eartha Kitt, Deborah Gibson, Paolo Montalban, Leslie 
Becker, Victor Trent Cook, Alexandra 
Kolb, Ken Prymus, Everett Quinton, Natasha Yvette Williams 
Sunday night, March 31, 1957. There are less than 175,000,000 people 
in the United States, many of 
whom live in homes without a television. Yet 107,000,000 of them tuned 
in to CBS to see a live 
performance of Cinderella, a new musical comedy by the authors of 
Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific and 
The King and I. The show starred Julie Andrews, then the toast of 
Broadway appearing in My Fair Lady. 
Sunday night, December 17, 2000. There are now over 281,000,000 people 
in the United States, most 
of whom live in homes with multiple televisions. The movie drawing the 
highest rating this night is a 
special holiday presentation of The Sound of Music, Rodgers and 
Hammerstein's last great musical. It 
stars Julie Andrews. Total viewers? 14,000,000. (Five percent of the 
population instead of 60%.) 
Tuesday night, December 19, 2000. The new stage version of Cinderella 
opens for a stop in Baltimore as 
part of a national tour. It would have to tour for over a century to 
sold out houses in order to reach as 
many people as that first television show. But even on this opening 
night the house isn't sold out . . . oh 
well, maybe it should run for two centuries. 
It would be practically impossible for this stage version to have as 
much charm as the original but, on the 
other hand, it would be practically impossible for it not to have a lot 
of things going for it. I'm sorry to 
report that it doesn't approach its full potential - in fact, it falls 
far short at times. But still it certainly 
has some very fine moments. 
Chief among its pleasures are, of course, the songs and dance music 
from the original. How could love 
songs like "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful" or "Ten Minutes 
Ago," comedy numbers like "The 
Prince is Giving A Ball" or "Stepsisters Lament" or dance music like 
"Gavotte" or "Waltz For A Ball" be 
anything less than a delight? 
Star billing for this tour is given not to Cinderella but to the Fairy 
Godmother part. It is Eartha Kitt and 
she brings her strong stage presence and unique persona to the role 
although she makes a hash of 
"Fol-De-Rol" by missing the meaning of the droll lyric. 
Cinderella is played by Deborah Gibson. She has strong musical theatre 
credentials, having appeared in 
musicals on Broadway, in the West End and on major tours. 
Unfortunately, she misses out on the essence 
of this role but it isn't entirely her fault. Cinderella has to become 
ravishingly beautiful to get the 
Prince's attention but neither costume designer Pamela Scofield nor 
Hair/Wig desinger Bernie Ardia do 
her any favors in their departments. 
It also doesn't' help that she has to compete with excessively cute 
puppets of mice. But she can't blame 
anyone else for the lack of precise enunciation and the near-lisp that 
mushes up the delightful lyrics of 
Oscar Hammerstein II. 
The lead that is most impressive is the Prince - Paulo Montalban who 
had the role in the most recent 
made-for-television movie of this piece. He looks every inch a 
charming prince, his stage demeanor is a 
marvelous combination of regal assurance and youthful tentativeness. 
His voice is practically perfect for 
the romantic ballads of the show, including the number Rodgers wrote 
without Hammerstein, "The 
Sweetest Sounds." 
Among the supporting cast are standout performances by Victor Trent 
Cook as Lionel, the page, and Natasha 
Yvette Williams as stepsister Grace. As strong as some of the 
performances are and as wonderful as the 
score is, the show falls short of its potential in a number of areas. 
The special effects are nothing 
special. The use of puppets on poles operated by visible puppeteers 
for four white mice, a cat and a dove 
overwhelms scenes that should be intimate and charming. With the 
exception of a very sprightly first 
chorus number, "The Prince is Giving a Ball," the choreography varies 
from stilted to ludicrous - 
especially in the Gavotte/The Cinderella Waltz. Had Cinderella 
actually seen the Prince dancing that way 
at the ball, she might have turned and run away before she ever met 
him. And the Ballroom set is just 
this side of ugly.
Still - it is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and it does have 
"The Sweetest Sounds" and "The Prince 
is Giving a Ball" and "Ten Minutes Ago" and "Stepsister's Lament" and 
"Do I Love You Because You're 
Beautiful?" and "A Lovely Night" and Paolo Montalban and Victor Trent 
Cook and Natasha Yvette Williams. 
Isn't that enough to make you glad you saw it? It is for me. 
by Brad Hathaway, Online Broadway Co