Thanks to Dan for this information!

Theater - Review - Thursday, May 17, 2001 

Magical 'Cinderella' lacks character depth 

By Alice T. Carter 

If the opening-night audience is any indication, "Cinderella" 
should close out the 2000-01 Mellon Pittsburgh Broadway Series 
with full houses of happy people. 

And why not? 

The Rogers and Hammerstein musical is sprinkled with pretty, 
waltzable tunes including double helpings of "The Sweetest 
Sounds," "A Lovely Night" and "Ten Minutes Ago," as well as once-
overs of "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful," and "In My Own 
Little Corner." 

Scenic designer James Youmans, costume designer Pamela Scofield, 
hair and wig designer Bernie Ardia and special-effects designer 
Gregory Meeh have created an eyeball-popping, Crayola-bright, 
cartoon world filled with magic transformations, wildly over-the-
top hairdos and fantastic costumes bright enough to blind those 
in the first five rows. 

There's even a roster of well-known performers on board who 
promise someone of interest for a wide variety of tastes. 

For the older traditionalists, there's Eartha Kitt doing her 
panther prance as the Fairy Godmother. HBO fans are likely to 
turn out to see Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who plays Cinderella onstage 
while taking a break after completing her third season as Tony 
Soprano's daughter Meadow on "The Sopranos."

Those of us with a fondness for high-camp comedy have spent the 
season anticipating the arrival of Everett Quinton as the 
Stepmother. And admirers of the male physique are in for a treat 
when Paolo Montalban, who plays the Prince, removes his royal 
tunic and reveals his muscles. 

The story, of course, offers no surprises - deserving, 
downtrodden waif overcomes her evil step-siblings and stepmonster 
to win the love of a royal prince and a home in a fairy-tale 
castle. Tom Briggs' stage adaptation of Robert L. Freedman's 
original teleplay gives it an overlay of contemporary, ethnic 

Director Gabriel Barre and choreographer Ken Roberson pump 
energy, vitality and humor into the familiar tale with sprightly 
ensemble dance sequences nicely done by a high-kicking chorus and 
plenty of physical comedy. 

Integrity Designworks contributes a charming infestation of rod-
puppet rodents, plus one fat cat, that are given personality by 
their onstage handlers. 

But what's disappointing about this "Cinderella" is that its 
central characters are so colorless. 

The Prince has always been a noble but passive space filler. He's 
indispensable to the story but has little to do but look handsome 
and let us know he's going to treat Cinderella with kindness. 
Montalban fulfills those requirements and has a pleasant enough 
voice, but he's hardly likely to spark much interest or 
connection for the young boys who get taken to the musical 
alongside their sisters. 

Sigler's serviceable voice gets her through "In My Own Little 
Corner" solo and her "Impossible" duet with Kitt nicely. 

But her Cinderella is the traditional little-girl-lost victim 
child without a backbone. You can't help but want to cheer when 
her cynical, worldly wise stepmother growls, "Your wish has been 
granted, now do something with it." 

The surrounding characters carry the show. 

Given the latitude to develop interesting, broadly comic 
characters, the production sometimes goes over the top, but it 
adds punch and laughter to the proceedings. 

Quinton plays the Stepmother as a despot desperate to secure her 
girls' futures. He's convincing enough that some in the audience 
left debating whether the part was played by a man or a woman. 
NaTasha Yvette Williams and Alexandra Kolb occasionally swerve 
over the line into cartoon silliness as the inaccurately named 
stepsisters Grace and Joy. 

Kitt's Fairy Godmother has a been-there-done-that detachment, but 
her signature deep-throated purr, though rounded down by age, 
still offers its anticipated growl. 

Brooks Ashmanskas enlivens the role of Lionel, the outspoken, 
jokey palace servant. Ken Prymus and Leslie Becker imbue King 
Maximillian and Queen Constantina with domestic warmth.