Thanks to Noel for this article!


A Royal Ball 

                                                                   Also This Issue

               Cinderella remains the stuff of dreams 

               By Brandon Brady 

               What happens to a
               teenybopper singer whose
               songs have long since left
               the Top 40? She becomes
               the ultimate princess, if
               she's lucky (and talented). 

               Such is the case for
               Deborah Gibson who
               sparkles onstage as the
               title character in Rodgers
               and Hammerstein's
               Cinderella, in town as part
               of the Broadway Series. 

               Gibson is one Cinderella
               who probably doesn't need
               a Fairy Godmother
               makeover to catch the eye
               of the prince. She's cute,
               spunky and charismatic in
               the role. Who wouldn't
               automatically be smitten
               with someone whose eyes
               literally light up at the
               spectacle of the romantic
               fairy tale? 

               But then if Cinderella could snag the prince all on her own,
               there would be no need for camp legend Eartha Kitt,
               dressed as a Roman goddess, vamping it up as the Fairy
               Godmother. OK, so she's essentially playing herself. But
               when you have an over-the-top persona like Kitt
               possesses, why act? She's a sprightly grand dame,
               beautifully aged (particularly those legs!), who is a joy to

               The whole production, though, is a joy. Not that it's not
               without its faults. Unfortunately, Gibson, as perfect a
               Cinderella as she is, noticeably lisps when she sings. And
               though Pamela Scofield does a wonderful job with her
               vibrant, colorful and occasionally outlandish costumes, she
               misses the mark with Cinderella's ball and wedding gowns.
               Both dresses would be more suitable hanging from drapery

               Fortunately, those issues don't detract from the overall
               enchantment of Cinderella. The musical simply has too
               much going for it. The "Transformation" scene is a
               psychedelic delight of lights, fog and mist. Cinderella's
               animal friends are brought to life as puppets on sticks
               controlled by members of the ensemble. The effect is
               clever and adorable, particularly the four mice, and it
               practically steals the show. 

               They're appropriate dreamlike effects. After all, Cinderella
               is the stuff of dreams. 

               Cinderella, presented by the Broadway Series, continues at
               the Aronoff Center through March 4.