Boulder Daily Camera
Thanks to Dan for this information!

Came across this by accident.  From the Boulder Daily 
Camera.  Probably the final review from the current tour... 

	
Gaudy, goofy fairy tale adaptation lacks spark 

By Patrick Dorn
Camera Theater Critic
------------------------------------------------------------------------

DENVER  For those of us old enough to remember Julie 
Andrews' stellar performance in Rodgers and 
Hammerstein's made-for-TV "Cinderella" back in 1957, the 
tender TV remake with winsome Lesley Ann Warren in the 
title role in the '60s, or even those who suffered through the 
most recent "hip-hop" version with Whitney Houston and 
Brandy, the national tour production of "Cinderella" at the 
Buell Theatre is going to be a disappointment. 

Director Gabriel Barre gets most of the blame for his 
bizarrely incongruous concept and utter failure to unite the 
cast, though Andrew Lippa deserves a special raspberry for 
tampering with Rodgers' musical arrangements in a 
misguided effort to "update" them.

Apparently everyone concerned, including scenic designer 
James Youmans and costume designer Pamela Scofield, 
decided that they had to distance the story as far from its 
18th century European roots as possible, but without 
locating it anywhere or anytime else. The show seems to 
have been transported from some hallucinogenic parallel 
universe somewhere in the general vicinity of Dr. Seuss' 
Whoville. 

The cast is a mess, with no continuity between their 
performances. Legendary entertainer Eartha Kitt, who gets 
top billing for a supporting role, makes it very clear that she 
is playing the persona of Eartha Kitt who just happens to be 
cast as the Fairy Godmother so that we might bask in her 
legendary presence. Though she might be more 
appropriately called a Fairy Grandmother, Kitt seems bent 
on showing the audience that she can still touch the floor 
and windmill her arms around. At no time does she allow 
the character or story to interfere with the audience's 
appreciation that we are actually seeing the legendary 
Eartha Kitt. 

Paolo Montalban, who also played Prince Chris in the most 
recent television remake, has a nice, lyrical voice, and plays 
the part with sincerity and warmth. He seems to be trying to 
cling to the last vestiges of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 
original intent. It's too bad the rest of the show didn't follow 
his direction. 

Deborah Gibson gets a distant third billing in the program 
even though she has the title role. The '80s teen pop singer, 
who sold 16 million records despite a squeaky voice and a 
lisp, adds very little to the production. The show works best 
when Cinderella is perceived as having nobility of spirit and 
innate grace, but Gibson plays her as a working-class girl 
who lucks out and marries far above her station. 

Everett Quinton, playing the drag role of Stepmother is 
downright scary, while the two stepsisters (Natasha Yvette 
Williams and Alexandra Kolb) are more annoying than 
funny. A chorus of delightful puppet animals, in an obvious 
nod to the Disney version, frequently steals the show. Ken 
Roberson's choreography is quirky but fun to watch. 

Barre inserts "jive talking" slang expressions and hip 
behaviors that only weaken the story's integrity. 
Hammerstein's book, which allows for the magic of true love 
to supersede supernatural interference at key points in the 
plot, barely makes it through, and Rodgers' lyrical melodies 
for songs like "In My Own Little Corner" and "Impossible" are 
ruined by inappropriate and distracting rhythms. 

Picture a grotesque pretender trying to shove her 
misshapen foot into a delicate glass slipper while a 
handsome prince looks on in dismay, and you have the 
perfect metaphor for this regrettable production. 

Contact Patrick Dorn at (303) 473-1369 or 
dornp@thedailycamera.com.


August 3, 2001