San Antonio Express-News 
Thanks to Lisa for this information!

Nothing catty about this Cinderella 
By Deborah Martin 
San Antonio Express-News 

Web Posted : 03/20/2002 12:21 AM 

If it's tough to imagine Eartha Kitt as the Fairy Godmother 
in "Cinderella," try banishing the whole notion of the character 
as a matronly ATM for wishes.

Kitt, who looks and moves decades younger than her 75 years, 
clearly doesn't have patience for it, or for that "Bibbidi 
Bobbidi Boo" nonsense sung in the 1950 Disney cartoon version.

In the touring production currently playing at the Majestic 
Theater, she plays the character as a feminist (to a point) 
Fairy Godmother for the new millennium. 

When she first encounters Cinderella weeping over her aborted 
attempt to go to the ball, Kitt seems less than enchanted with 
the notion of helping this woe-is-me creature get what she wants.

It is only after Cinderella figures out that she does have 
options - that she can hitch a ride with someone else to the 
ball, and that she can repair the dress her wicked Stepmother 
ripped to keep her from going - that Kitt decides to work a 
little magic. (It wouldn't be a fairy tale without it, after 
all, and the story can take only so much fiddling.)

Clearly, Rodgers and Hammerstein's telling of the tale has been 
re-worked a bit since it premiered on television in 1965. The 
Prince (Paolo Montalban) has been fleshed out a bit, and 
Cinderella (Jessica Rush) has a little more spunk. But the main 
elements remain the same: Cinderella is still an orphan treated 
shabbily by her evil Stepmother; her Fairy Godmother still helps 
her get into the ball, where she and the Prince fall in love; 
Cinderella still loses her glass slipper, and the shoe helps her 
get her man.

Montalban, who played the same role in the TV "Cinderella" 
starring Brandy and Whitney Houston, is every inch the romantic 
royal who longs to be seen as a regular Joe. And Rush is a 
perfectly charming Cinderella.

There's more to the story than romance and a no-nonsense 
godmother - there's also plenty of camp and comedy. In a unique 
bit of casting, Everett Quinton makes the most of every second 
he - yes, he - has onstage as the Stepmother, wringing venom and 
a twisted humor from all of his lines. He is well matched by 
NaTasha Yvette Williams and Sandra Bargman, the gifted pair who 
play Cinderella's dimwitted stepsisters. And Brooks Ashmanskas 
holds his own as Lionel, the Prince's steward.

The story unfolds on a sumptuous set that underscores the fairy-
tale feeling. The carriage alone is so stunning that it earned 
its very own burst of applause at Tuesday's opening performance.

For all of that, the show is very nearly stolen by a passel of 
puppets, who play the mice and other critters who are 
Cinderella's only true friends. The puppeteers even manage the 
difficult trick of fading into the woodwork after the 
initial "hey, why's that guy lurking behind that tree" wears off.

It's a thoroughly enchanting production, with plenty to delight 
children and any grow-ups who decide to tag along with or 
without them.

"Cinderella" can be seen at 8 p.m. today-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. 
Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Majestic Theater, 224 
E. Houston St. Tickets range from $42 to $64 at all Ticketmaster