Thanks to Lisa for this article! A review from the Courier-Journal 'Cinderella' 'Cinderella' shows you can push a good thing only so far By GEORGE HUBBARD © The Courier-Journal March 7, 2001 "Cinderella," the Broadway Series presentation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical made originally for television, came to the stage of Whitney Hall at Kentucky Center for the Arts last night, and left nothing to the imagination. Which is to say -- no gag was forgotten, no punch line was left unmilked, no cliche was left unexplored; some of it was as close to the bad old days of musical theater as one can get. And the score, one ofRodgers' weakest, even with additions from a couple of other shows, sounded very "canned" and fake, and certainly sounded nothing like the original orchestrations. Fortunately, there was Cinderella herself, Jamie-Lynn Sigler in her first performance of the role. She was beautiful and winsome, just about perfect for the part, in fact. Her singing was just so-so, with little finesse as yet, but that will surely come as she grows into the role. Her appearance in the ballroom scene was dazzling, and her dancing was as fluid and graceful as the rather cramped setting would allow. Her duet with the prince in this scene, "Ten Minutes Ago," was the best music of the evening. "The Sweetest Sounds," borrowed from Rodgers' "No Strings," didn't work as well. It was difficult to figure out just where this "once upon a time in a kingdom far away" was supposed to be. Most of the costuming was in the expected fairy-tale style, but some of the getups at the ball (and some of the hair styles) looked more like 1960s suburbia. The color scheme throughout was so vivid that I longed for my sunglasses. The palace set was surely borrowed from one of those old science fiction movies, complete with columns that looked like lava lamps on steroids. Paolo Montalban was a rather stiff Prince Christopher, but that seemed to be the director's fault, since his dancing was smooth and elegant. His singing was pleasant also, in fact the best voice in the company. Eartha Kitt as the Fairy Godmother heads the billing, but the part isn't really that great, and doesn't seem to utilize her best features. She does get to show off her legs, which are still fabulous, but that husky voice never really gets a chance to break loose. "Fol-De-Rol" was hampered by truly dreadful choreography, and the lyrics of "Impossible" were difficult to catch. Everett Quinton nearly walks away with the show in the travesty role of the Stepmother, and his red wig was to kill for! I wished for a solo number for him -- his insane combination of Mame Dennis and Dolly Levi should have been used more. NaTasha Yvette Williams and Alex andra Kolb were Grace and Joy, the stepsisters, and I can't decide which was funnier. Their duet, "Stepsisters' Lament," after the prince has waltzed away with Cinderella was the funniest number in the show. Over- played, over-costumed, over-made up, over-done all around, for sure. But a scream -- and that's what they are supposed to be. Lionel, the long-suffering and ever-resourceful Court Chamberlain, was killingly played by Victor Trent Cook. The White Mice, the Dove and Charles the cat are puppets manipulated by men dressed in dark clothing, sort of like Japanese stagehands. They're awful, awful cute, but at least they don't break into song. This isn't Disney, after all. "A Lovely Night," Cinderella's song to stepmother and stepsisters after the ball, is the cleverest song in the show, and reveals the pert side of Cinderella's character, rescuing her from being all sweetness and light. The transformation of pumpkin to coach, mice to horses, and of Cinderella from rags to ball gown, is managed with lots of smoke and lights. It works pretty well. If you go . . . Today-Friday (March 9), 8 p.m.; Saturday (March 10), 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday (March 11), 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center for the Arts, Sixth and Main streets.