Thanks to Lisa for this article!
A review from The Times-Picayune

'Cinderella's' fellas are an electic mix 


By David Cuthbert
Theater writer/The Times-Picayune

"You know the grrreat thing about this company?" Eartha Kitt 
said, lapsing into her trademark purr. "We have all kinds of 
people. You will never see a more varied or integrated cast. We 
have young, old, black, white, Oriental. You know, of course, 
that our Stepmother is a man? Everett Quinton, who does a 
fabulous job."

And let's not forget Prince Charming Paolo Montalban, who is 
Filipino, and something of a matinee idol since playing the part 
opposite Brandy in the Disney TV version and being named one of 
People magazine's "Most Beautiful People."

"Between the little girls who watch that infernal 'Cinderella' 
tape over and over and the boys who are the audience of 
the 'Mortal Kombat' TV series I did, my demographic skews kind 
of young," Montalban said. "Maybe 4 to 12 for the girls and 13 
to 16 for the boys."

"Oh, I tend to think he's got an older, more interesting 
demographic than that," Quinton said. "This guy's got 'em all 
waiting at the stage door!"

Quinton himself adds to the intriguingly diverse "Cinderella" 
mix. As an original member of New York's fabled Ridiculous 
Theatrical Company, he took over as artistic director from 
founder (and partner) Charles Ludlam when Ludlam died in 1987. 
For the next 10 years, Quinton kept the company going, lauded by 
The New York Times' former theater critic Frank Rich as "the 
most hilariously and matter-of-factly masculine of drag 

"I approach a female role as a character," Quinton said. "It's 
the way I've always worked, the way we worked at the Ridiculous. 
In 'Cinderella,' the audiences have fun with it. Some know and 
appreciate what I'm doing; some people either don't know or 
forget that I'm a man playing a woman -- and I like that -- and 
some people have a problem with it.

"When I auditioned men for female roles at the Ridiculous, if 
they were going too 'over the top,' I'd tell them, 'Bring her 
down, give her a soul.' You can't do anything honest without an 
emotional base. One day I heard Eartha say, 'When you've got 
your heart in it, it comes to life.' I immediately wrote that 
down and told Eartha, 'Every day you rehearse with us you should 
charge us for acting lessons!'

"All I know is that I got lucky with this job -- I wear the most 
fabulous costumes in the show."

Quinton, who's 49 ("Pulling 50 on a short rope"), has never 
toured with a big stage musical before, though the 27-year-old 
Montalban has. "My first job out of college was a 'Man of La 
Mancha' tour," he said. "And then I did 'The King and I' revival 
in New York.

"Both times I've done 'Cinderella' have been good for me. When I 
made the TV film, I was working with icons, people from album 
covers and movie posters -- Whitney, Whoopi, Jason Alexander. 
It's strange just seeing them beside you. But I didn't have time 
to be nervous and they wouldn't let me be nervous. Ultimately, 
it's a job; you show up, you do it. We're all actors working on 
a project.

"With someone like Eartha, I don't know how to quite put this, 
but you feel her onstage even when she's behind you! It's like 
she's become this distilled essence of herself.

"And Jamie is so right for the role and so professional for 
someone so young. What she's doing isn't easy, either. When 
you're playing a fairy tale character, you're playing this great 
mythological being, like someone from Shakespeare or the Bible.

"Cinderella is someone who belongs somewhere, but it was taken 
away from her. She's a commoner who's supposed to be a princess, 
while the prince is a royal who wants to be a commoner. Neither 
fits in, but they're a perfect fit with each other.

"And everyone has been really cool about allowing me to make the 
prince more of an everyday kind of guy and less of a cardboard 
cut-out. Kids enjoy the fact that he feels nagged by his parents 
and slips out of the palace to go run the streets."

Several of Montalban's admirers have created Web sites with 
endless pages of him posing backstage with fans. "The way I feel 
is that these people have paid $50 for tickets, maybe $5 more 
for parking, spent hours of their time to come and see you, the 
least you can do is give them a picture," Montalban said.

This is one actor who isn't just another pretty People magazine 
face. Montalban went to Rutgers at 15 on a scholarship and 
graduated at 19 .

"Talk about a good kid," Quinton said. "And a total gentleman. 
Mom and Dad did something right with that one!

"As for Jamie-Lynn," Quinton said, "the first night she did the 
show, I had visions of what the young Helen Hayes must have been 
like. I went up to her and said, 'I don't care what else you do, 
but you stay on the stage!' "

The Ridiculous Theatrical Company closed up shop "about five 
years ago," Quinton said. "It stopped being a joy and started to 
be about making money, which we weren't. We only had 144 seats, 
so we were just running like hell to stay in place.

"But it was fabulous while it lasted. Where else would I have 
gotten to play 'Camille,' 'Phaedre,' 'Salome' and 'Dr. Jekyll 
and Mr. Hyde'? Now, I want to play Herod to Eartha 
Kitt's 'Salome'!"

Quinton's grounding in non-realistic theater has made him a 
natural for children's theater, and he has an ongoing 
relationship with the Omaha Theater for Young People.

"Stories for children are fascinating, because they have so many 
sides," he said. "Some people think they raise unrealistic 
expectations for children, or adults for that matter. But C.S. 
Lewis, who wrote 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' wrote 
that the happy ending is important because it gives us hope. So 
even when your life doesn't turn out that way, or when you find 
yourself in the dark woods, you don't lose that hope.

"And now 'Cinderella' is bringing me back to New Orleans. I was 
there once before, in '86, when Charles was playing the lawyer 
in the movie 'The Big Easy.'

"It was December and it was Christmas and it was cold, and I got 
food poisoning, but there were children singing carols in the 
hotel lobby and I had to return a pair of pajamas to Saks and 
they gave me two pairs of pajamas back!

"Christmas in New Orleans; I'll never forget it!"