Article from NY DAILY NEWS
Thanks to Lisa for this information!

Princess Charming 
'Cinderella's' magic triumphs over its production 
Howard Kissel

CINDERELLA Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Music by 
Richard Rodgers. Adapted by Tom Briggs. With Eartha Kitt, Jamie-
Lynn Sigler, Paolo Montalban, Everett Quinton and others. Sets 
by James Youmans. Costumes by Pamela Scofield. Directed by 
Gabriel Barre. At The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets: 
$27.50-$75. (212) 307-4111.

It's ludicrously overamplified and garishly designed, but it 
doesn't matter. Rodgers and Hammerstein's score for "Cinderella" 
is so magical it triumphs over everything.

Written for a live TV broadcast in 1957  it starred Julie 
Andrews  "Cinderella" began being produced in theaters only 
about 20 years ago. This is amazing considering the score 
contains such standards as "Ten Minutes Ago," "Do I Love You 
Because You're Beautiful?" and "A Lovely Night."
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (l.) of 'Sopranos' fame stars alongside Eartha 
Kitt in 'Cinderella.'  
It also has some of the pair's best comic songs. It's hard to 
believe, for example, that Hammerstein wrote the 
witty "Stepsisters' Lament" just before he did the "funny" songs 
for "Flower Drum Song," which are some of his flattest attempts 
at humor ever.

As if the riches of the original score were not enough, the 
current production uses the great song Rodgers wrote with his 
own lyrics, "The Sweetest Sounds," which comes from "No 
Strings." (You won't see "No Strings" because its treatment of 
racial themes, embarrassing even in 1962, makes it unproduceable 

The new "Cinderella" also includes "There's Music in You," a 
song from the 1950 film "Main Street to Broadway." The song, 
originally sung by Mary Martin, was first included in the 1997 
TV version of "Cinderella," starring Whitney Houston and Brandy.

In the title role, Jamie-Lynn Sigler (TV's Meadow Soprano) sings 
quite well and is extremely appealing. Paolo Montalban makes a 
dashing prince, and he is a powerful singer.

Eartha Kitt is a campy fairy godmother. On her first entrance, 
when Cinderella seems skeptical, she asks, "Magic wand? Tutu? 
Been there, done that." Few could deliver the line as cattily as 

Everett Quinton, a brilliant choice for the evil stepmother, is 
hilarious and scary, not an easy combo. NaTasha Yvette Williams 
and Alexandra Kolb are suitably, comically nasty as Cinderella's 

The production, directed by Gabriel Barre, makes good use of 
puppets and serves the material broadly but well.

Designed for touring, the production looks cheap, garish and, in 
the ballroom scene, downright ugly. The only good designs are 
for some trees and Cinderella's pumpkin coach. The costumes are 
similarly vulgar.

But none of this matters, because the cast exudes enthusiasm and 
the score, even in some quasi-hip arrangements, is as enchanting 
as ever.


Original Publication Date: 5/5/01