Article from NY DAILY NEWS
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05/05/2001 - Saturday - Page B 7  
The Slipper Doesn't Fit in This 'Cinderella'
By Gordon Cox. Gordon Cox is a regular contributor to Newsday.

Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, 
adapted for the stage by Tom Briggs, directed by Gabriel Barre. 
With Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Eartha Kitt, Paolo Montalban, Everett 
Quinton, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Alexandra Kolb. Musical 
supervision and arrangements by Andrew Lippa, choreography by 
Ken Roberson. The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 33rd Street. 
Seen Thursday. 

AFTER YOU'VE WADED through the poorly managed mob of little 
girls and their parents clogging the dishearteningly few doors 
to the Theater at Madison Square Garden, you may as well stop by 
the concession stand and pick up some popcorn, hot dogs or 
cotton candy. The feeling that you've stumbled into a theme park 
isn't going to go away when the curtain rises on "Rodgers and 
Hammerstein's Cinderella." This touring production, which opened 
in New York on Thursday and runs through May 13, has been 
designed with all the exaggerated whimsy of a ride at 
Disneyland. The show is brightly colored, bald-faced and 
sanitized enough to keep the kids harmlessly occupied for a 
couple of hours. For the rest of us, it's a big snooze. 

It's no help that the renowned composer-lyricist team of Rodgers 
and Hammerstein ("South Pacific," "The Sound of Music," and many 
more) have taken a well-worn fairy tale and dramatized it 
without a shred of imagination. In this musical originally 
written for television, all the familiar elements are in place-
the evil stepmother, the overbearing stepsisters, the handsome 
prince, the helpful mice-but there still doesn't seem to be 
quite enough story to keep a full-length show going. A reprise 
of the love song "Ten Minutes Ago," which explains an event that 
happened 10 minutes earlier, is closely followed by "A Lovely 
Night," a song that rehashes the ballroom scene we just saw. 

The draw for adults here, if there is one, comes chiefly from 
Eartha Kitt. 

A Fairy Godmother in a slinky purple dress, she doesn't 
disappoint. Kitt vamps her way through the proceedings even if 
one of her songs does cause her to warble and chirp like a 

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, better known as Meadow Soprano on "The 
Sopranos," makes an appealing and sweet-voiced Cinderella. As 
her Prince Charming, the appropriately earnest Paolo Montalban 
feels a little bland. But then, if his character had too much 
personality, he couldn't be the universal dream guy he's 
supposed to be. 

Playing the comically mismatched stepsisters, NaTasha Yvette 
Williams and Alexandra Kolb have a few enjoyably cartoonish 
moments. And Everett Quinton, formerly of New York's defunct 
Ridiculous Theatrical Co., makes drag safe for toddlers with his 
flapping caricature of Cinderella's stepmother. 

While its giant, storybook setpieces slide on and off, the 
production moves as smoothly as the glitzy well-oiled machine 
that it is. In a production like this, it's not a surprise that 
there's no subtlety to be had, but it's a shame that there's 
also no magic.