Thanks to Lisa for this article!
A review from the Toronto Sun

Thursday, February 1, 2001 

The slipper is cracked
Cinderella lacks only a credible heroine
Toronto Sun
 TORONTO -- In the seemingly all-hit world of Rodgers And 
Hammerstein, Cinderella is barely a footnote -- a confection 
whipped up for TV and later transformed into a piece of musical 
theatre. Transformations come at a price, however, and it is 
open to debate as to whether the version currently playing in 
limited run at the Pantages is more mutilation than 

 On the heels of Tuesday night's opening, we're inclined to call 
it a draw. Such is the state of musical theatre today that, even 
watered-down and re-worked, second-rate Rodgers and Hammerstein 
still has more going for it than a lot of contemporary 

 Oscar Hammerstein II might have a bit of trouble recognizing 
his book and lyrics, though, because of the changes wrought by 
Tom Briggs in his stage adaptation of Robert L. Freeman's 

 All the traditional elements of this timeless fairytale are 
there -- the poor, down-trodden heroine, the mean-spirited 
stepmother, the two ugly stepsisters, a lonely Prince Charming 
and a big-hearted fairy Godmother, even the pumpkin and the 

 What's non-traditional is the attitude, from the extensive non-
traditional casting (Toronto producers could learn a thing or 
two from the epidermal shadings in this show) to its very 
contemporary vernacular. 

 Factored in with the designs of James Youmans and Pamela 
Scofield, the choreography of Ken Roberson, the special effects 
of Gregory Meeh and the direction of Gabriel Barre, not to 
mention the lyrics and tunes of R&H, it becomes a surprisingly 
refreshing take on an old tale. 

 But it could be a whole lot better. There's fine work from the 
supporting cast and the puppets that enliven Cinderella's drab 
existence. As The Stepmother, Everett Quinton has as much fun as 
he makes, nurturing the dubious charms of Natasha Yvette 
Williams and Alexandra Kolb as the ugly stepsisters. Leslie 
Becker and Ken Prymus lend some much needed shallowness to the 
role of King and Queen, and Victor Trent Cook is delightful as a 
major domo with major attitude. 

 Of the principals, however, only Paolo Montalban scores high 
points, fleshing out a two-dimensional character with a strong 
blend of charm and vocal talent. 

 As Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother respectively, however, 
one-time pop star Deborah Gibson and diva Eartha Kitt just play 
themselves, with varying success. 

 Even though Kitt's longevity threatens to turn the feline into 
the Fellini-esque, her Kitt-ch still charms. Gibson, on the 
other hand, lacks the vocal chops for the role (especially 
evident in duets with Montalban) and as an actress, let's just 
say, as Cinderella, she puts her foot in a lot more than a glass