Thanks to Noel for this article!

Cincinnati Enquirer Theater review 
Wednesday, February 21, 2001 


                       Hip Cinderella seems like a strange dream

                    By Jackie Demaline
                    The Cincinnati Enquirer

                            Here's something you don't see everyday - a production
                    of Cinderella in which the Fairy Godmother, as embodied by
                    Eartha Kitt, is as scary as the Wicked Stepmother. 

                            Bizarre is the only word for this wanna-be hip take on the
                    Rodgers & Hammerstein show, which is continuing for two
                    weeks at the Aronoff as part of the Fifth Third Bank Broadway
                    Series. You can't help wondering what director Gabriel Barre
                    had for dinner before he went to bed and dreamed up this

                            Actually, Ms. Kitt is only as scary as an average Wicked
                    Stepmother. Everett Quinton is the scariest Wicked
                    Stepmother I have ever seen, chilling in his indifferent cruelty.
                    It's a wonderful performance — on opening night, he actually
                    set small children to crying. 

                            As for the happily-ever-afterables, Debbie Gibson and
                    Paolo Montalban are pretty and bland as Cinderella and her
                    prince. They croon show tunes as if they were bubblegum pop.

                            One of the show's great disadvantages is that, originally
                    written as a 90-minute TV special, it's been padded into a
                    two-act stage show not with fresh musical material but with
                    reprise after reprise after reprise. 

                            This Cinderella is made contemporary with a lot of jive
                    talkin' from the African-American king (Ken Prymus),
                    courtier-about-town Lionel (Victor Trent Cook)and hefty,
                    loudmouthed stepsister Grace (NaTasha Yvette Williams), all
                    playing out black stereotypes. 

                            And what could choreographer Ken Roberson have been
                    thinking? Mr. Roberson has consistently done wonderful work
                    at Playhouse in the Park (with shows like Thunder Knocking
                    on the Door and Spunk) and in New York. 

                            Here he has the villagers performing a sort of medieval
                    hip-hop and the Fairy Godmother's big number at the end of
                    the first act (Cinderella is transformed into the belle of the ball
                    to “Impossible“) is accented by hopping and floor touches.
                    Why? Because Ms. Kitt, a stunningly spry septogenarian,

                            One charming effect are the puppet mice, cat and dove
                    (which looks more like a nightingale) who keep our heroine
                    company around the hearth. 

                            Of local note, CCM grad Lyn Philistine stepped into the
                    role of obnoxious stepsister Joy to good effect and sported a
                    perfectly piercing giggle/snort. 

                            Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, through March 4,
                    Fifth Third Bank Broadway Series, Aronoff Center for the Arts
                    Procter & Gamble Hall. 241-7469.