Thanks to Dan for this article!
A review from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
'Cinderella' is no pumpkin

Touring production of fairy tale is
sumptuous, sassy and smart

Journal Sentinel theater critic

Last Updated: April 4, 2001

You don't have to be a child to be thrilled by the national 
touring company production of "Cinderella" that arrived at the 
Marcus Center Tuesday night. 

Forget that its subject is a familiar children's fairy tale.

This is Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," originally 
written for television in 1957, and the score is fun, smart and 
luxuriously elegant. The adaptation for the stage, written by 
Waukesha native Tom Briggs, is hip and even a little sassy, as 
well as touching when the story calls for it.

Gabriel Barre's direction and Ken Roberson's choreography blend 
stage savvy with snap and attitude. The tone is unabashedly 
broad, but the comedy never spins out of control.

The show's design cuts no corners in delivering vivid visuals 
worthy of the tale's fantasy, and it supports a marvelous 
theatricality that is deeper and more daring than simply a 
collection of special effects. The appearance of Cinderella's 
stagecoach is just as awe-inspiring as the first glimpse of the 
underground lake in "The Phantom of the Opera," but this 
production accomplishes something more.

Rod puppets manipulated by clearly visible chorus members portray 
the mice, cat and bird that bolster Cinderella's spirits. The 
device, unusual for mainstream musical theater, works 
spectacularly well, illustrating that effective theatricality is 
not reliant on virtual reality, even in these high-tech times. 
The opening night audience responded to the puppets with audible 

None of this stage magic overshadows the touring company's cast, 
notable for its seamless ensemble work and its high degree of 
racial diversity, which is unusual for a Broadway show with no 
inherent ethnicity.

The prince's family personifies this. His mother, the queen, is 
played by a Caucasian actress, Leslie Becker. His father, the 
king, is portrayed by African-American Ken Prymus, a veteran of 
seven years in the Broadway cast of "Cats." Paolo Montalban, who 
is of Filipino descent, is the prince.

The show plays to the diversity, employing specific comic types 
and traits, rather than ignoring it. And the story of the abused 
orphan, the handsome prince and the glass slipper never trips 
over the racial differences among the characters.

A superior cast must take at least some of the credit for that. 
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, known to millions as Meadow Soprano on the HBO 
series that bears that family name, is as believable a fairy-tale 
character as she is a Mafia daughter.

She has presence, polish, focus and a chemistry with Montalban 
that is palpable. Their first dance at the ball crackles with 
romantic electricity. Sigler's singing voice is closer to a pop 
star's than the fully developed pipes of a Broadway lead, but 
it's sweet and works fine for this role.

The audience enjoys having Eartha Kitt on the Uihlein Hall stage 
playing the Fairy Godmother as much as she obviously enjoys 
showing us some leg toward the end of the musical. That voice, 
that bearing, that attitude and an ability to still move like a 
dancer at 74 make her appearance here special.

It's also a treat to have Everett Quinton, a New York legend and 
drag-queen actor, here portraying the wicked but funny 
Stepmother. Like all of the supporting players, he is crisp and 
focused to great comic effect.

Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on April 5, 2001.