Thanks to Dan for this information!

Kitt: Sexy 'Cinderella' godmother

Eartha Kitt played Cat Woman 
in the popular TV show 'Batman.'
Click for larger photo and to order reprints

Eartha Kitt plays the fairy godmother and Jessica Rush 
plays Cinderella in The Kennedy Center's new production of 
the made-for-TV musical, playing now through Jan. 13.
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Glossy production of familiar fairy tale makes Rodgers & 
Hammerstein's "Cinderella" a midwinter treat. 

The Free Lance-Star
Date published: Thu, 12/27/2001 

holiday season cries out for fluffy, sparkly entertainment, 
and the Kennedy Center is delivering with Rodgers & 
Hammerstein's "Cinderella." 

Beautiful costumes, pretty songs, cute mice, comic 
stepsisters--who could ask for anything fluffier or sparklier? 
The fact that everybody knows exactly what's going to 
happen every step of the way, that the songs are 44 years 
old and never were very popular and that the heroine looks 
prettier in her rags than in her ball gown should not trouble 
anyone. This made-for-TV-and-expanded-for-the-stage trifle 
is just what winter-weary holiday-hassled folks are longing 
for. No thought is required, there's no emotional 
involvement, nothing that needs any effort on the part of the 
audience. Pure relaxation.

"Cinderella" is the only musical that Richard Rodgers and 
Oscar Hammerstein II wrote for television. It first aired in 
1957 and starred Julie Andrews. This version has been 
adapted for the stage by Tom Briggs. He has retained two 
Rodgers and Hammerstein songs from other shows that 
were added to the 1997 TV version to fill out the mostly 
forgettable score. The more memorable of these additions 
is "The Sweetest Sounds I Ever Heard," from "No Strings," 
sung by Cinderella and the prince before they meet. The 
only song from the "Cinderella" score that's made it into the 
popular lexicon is "Do I Love You Because You're 

The big star attraction in this production is the legendary 
Eartha Kitt. Although she's got to be in her 70s, she still cuts 
a slinky figure on stage and can belt out a tune with the best 
of them. The only problem is that the signature Eartha Kitt 
growl has become harder to understand over the years. 
That's too bad, because this is a fairy godmother with 
attitude, and it's a shame to miss any of her lines.

Paolo Montalban, who starred in the 1997 television version 
with Brandy and Whitney Houston, plays the prince with style 
and charm. He can sing well, too.

Jessica Rush is lovely as Cinderella and Everett Quinton, 
NaTasha Yvette Williams and Sandra Bargman are a hoot 
as the stepmother and ugly stepsisters.

The real stars of the show, though are the mice. Man, are 
they cute! They and Charlie the Cat and the Dove are all 
puppets, operated by fully visible human beings. The 
puppeteers are so good, though, that one forgets they're 
there, and the animals move so naturally that they don't 
seem like puppets at all.

Does one need to mention that the sets are glossy, the 
costumes brilliant, the choreography neatly executed and 
the music in tune? It's a national tour, after all. There's a 
certain Disney/Land of Oz look to the whole thing, but who 
cares? This isn't meant to be cutting-edge theater.

And, if you go, watch carefully and tell me how Cinderella 
gets from her chimney-corner rags into her ball costume, 
complete with curled hair and glass slippers. Be darned if I 
could figure it out.