POTOMAC STAGES
Thanks to Dan for this information!
 
December 18, 2001 Ė January 12, 2002
Cinderella      
Reviewed December 20
Running time 2 hours 

Making a family-friendly stage version of Rodgers and 
Hammersteinís family-friendly television musical was a 
great idea. After all, Rodgers and Hammerstein had crafted 
a piece that had enough charm, enough humor and enough 
beauty to draw over sixty percent of the entire population of 
the United States, adults and children, to their televisions. 
Its too bad that the creators of this national touring 
productions didnít trust Rodgers and Hammersteinís 
product enough to try to put the same spirit of the show up 
on the stage. Instead, they seem to have thought it 
necessary to add touches from 1950ís Disney cartoons 
and 1990ís Disney Broadway shows and to up-date itís 
sound. They even added cute animals (mice, a cat and a 
dove which are puppets on poles manipulated by black-clad 
operators) which are more in the spirit of a cartoon than the 
live Rodgers and Hammerstein show. 

Storyline: This is a fairly simple re-telling of the fairy tale of 
"the girl of the cinders," ill-treated by a selfish stepmother 
and victimized by her two stepsisters. With the help of her 
Fairy Godmother, she goes to the ball where she and Prince 
Charming meet and fall in love. She flees as the clock 
strikes midnight but he tracks her down through the clue of 
the glass slipper she lost as she fled.

This production offers the strong stage persona of Eartha 
Kitt. She may be playing the Fairy Godmother but sheís all 
Eartha Kitt. When Cinderella asks why she doesnít have a 
magic wand she replies "Been there. Done that." The 
Cinderella in question is Jessica Rush who is practically 
everything you could ask for in the role. She sings, dances 
and acts very well and she looks the part too. Her Prince is a 
strong-voiced, handsome and very charming Paolo 
Montalban. 

Thereís a fine supporting cast. One of the strengths of the 
original was the individuality of the characters such as the 
King and Queen, the Stepmother and the Stepsisters, each 
with strong personality traits created in swift broad strokes. 
Victor Trent Cook is particularly good as the wise cracking 
servant, Everett Quinton is a smashing Stepmother while 
the team of Sandra Bargman and NaTasha Yvette Williams 
sell "The Stepsisterís Lament." Ken Prymus puts a touching 
affection for his son into the King. 

Even with all that going for it, the production has some 
special effects that arenít very special, a set that is less than 
substantial at times, a skimpy ensemble of 
singers/dancers, and orchestrations that cover instead of 
accentuate the great songs of the score. Still, those songs 
include "In My Own Little Corner," "Ten Minutes Ago," "A 
Lovely Night," "Do I Love Your Because Youíre Beautiful?" 
and the added song from another Richard Rodgers show 
"The Sweetest Sounds." Few musicals have ever had so 
many lovely melodies. Even with the new orchestrations 
there are riches here indeed.