Article from NY POST http://www.nypostonline.com/entertainment/39641.htm Thanks to Dan for this information! CAST MAKES 'CINDERELLA' CHARMING By CLIVE BARNES May 5, 2001 -- RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA Theater at Madison Square Garden. (212) 307-4111. WHEN is a Broadway musical not a Broadway musical?When it is "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella," which surfaced again Thursday night for a two-week run at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. And, yes, the gal with the footloose footwear is Jamie-Lynn Sigler, better known around New Jersey and HBO as Tony Soprano's bright but wayward daughter. And she can sing! But first of all, this "Cinderella." What is it? Of all the many collaborations between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, "Cinderella" is the only one never planned for the stage. In the summer of 1956, CBS Television invited these Broadway giants to write a 90-minute musical especially for live TV. What made the offer irresistible to R&H was that it was slated to star Julie Andrews - after "My Fair Lady" Broadway's newly anointed Queen - and thus "Cinderella" was born. On March 31, 1957, it was seen by more than 107 million viewers, reaching an audience dwarfing that of all of R&H's stage ventures from "Oklahoma!" on. Not unexpectedly there were two later TV versions in 1964 and 1997. But how about the stage? Now, there was a temptation. The first attempt was a bastardized version in 1958 in London - where, of course, the telecast had never been seen - and in 1993 it turned up, oddly, at Lincoln Center under the auspices of New York City Opera. Neither version worked wonderfully well. Yet the score's a quiet charmer - just listen to the original CBS cast recording with La Andrews, freshly available on CD. The new adaptation is by Tony Briggs, with musical arrangements and supervision by Andrew Lippa (the composer of the good "Wild Party" at Manhattan Theatre Club) and the whole new shebang has been staged by Gabriel Barre. The production, which is rather more spartanly bus-and-truck than opulent Broadway, has been placed somewhere between ancient China and 19th century Ruritania, and at times looks a mixture of scrimp, save and stock. Yet the score soars. Interestingly, this the only time Rodgers and Hammerstein, obviously inspired by Andrews, show a strong influence of Lerner and Loewe's then recent megahit, "My Fair Lady." And supplemented by that lovely song "The Sweetest Sounds," from Rodgers' later "No Strings," it's gossamer and magic. While the production values may be sparse, the cast is excellent. Jamie-Lynn Sigler vocally may not be the next Julie Andrews, but she's beautiful and charming, while Paolo Montalban (in answer to yet another question - he's no relation!) makes a stalwart, strong-voiced Prince. Yet the real strength of the production lies in the comic roles. Eartha Kitt (with the most distinctive voice in the world) does wonders as the Fairy Godmother who believes in self-reliance, and Everett Quinton (with the second most distinctive voice in the world) is beautifully bitchy as the wicked Stepmother. Other nice turns are provided by Victor Trent Cook as the Chamberlain and Ken Prymus and Leslie Becker as the King and Queen. It's now a good show for kids - better, say, that either "Seussical" or "Tom Sawyer" - yet what is fascinating is that with some quite considerable primping and tweaking, to say nothing of 10 million bucks, I still think that one day Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" could make it to Broadway.