WORLD-HERALD Thanks to Lisa for this information! Published Wednesday February 13, 2002 Review: 'Cinderella' a pretty hip, funny tale BY ASHLEY HASSEBROEK WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER Try to imagine an adaptation of the timeless classic, "Cinderella," in which the two evil stepsisters have Princess Leia cones on their heads that stretch more than a foot long. Where the servant Lionel tells his master, Prince Christopher, to "chill out" and Cinderella's little rodent friends know how to dance in sync to a Latin beat. Impossible, you think? Wait until you see the modern-day adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" playing at the Orpheum Theater this week. It's possible! This version, adapted for stage by Tom Briggs, with musical arrangements by Andrew Lippa and based on ABC-TV's 1997 version by Robert L. Freedman, opened Tuesday to a full house. The company will present seven more performances in Omaha. Though the story is true to the original fairy tale, the script is sprinkled with modern-day slang and many of the characters are given a distinct edge. Cinderella's Stepmother (Everett Quinton) has an unavoidable social ineptness, which is compounded by frizzy orange hair and a putrid green boa. Her daughters - Grace (NaTasha Yvette Williams) and Joy (Sandra Bargman) - have inherited their mother's horrible taste and are hilariously hopeless in their quest for the prince's affections. Other flamboyant players included the pot-bellied King Maximillian (Ken Prymus) and neurotic Queen Constantina (Leslie Becker). The audience's best-loved characters Tuesday were Cinderella's furry, life-size friends (four mice and her cat, Charles), controlled by visible puppeteers. Jessica Rush plays an innocent and wholesome Cinderella, and Paolo Montalban (the prince in the 1997 television version of the story) is a sincere but lovesick Prince Christopher. Their voices complement each other during their many numbers, producing a romantic, fairy-tale fluency. In a cast full of illustrious characters, Fairy Godmother Eartha Kitt grabs the most attention - and not just because of her slinky blue dress. Her distinctive purr of a voice and her spunky, "know-it-all" attitude keep the audience captivated.