Article from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Thanks to Noel for this information!

                                         Eartha Kitt a hit, but 'Cinderella's' shoe
                                         doesn't fit 'Sopranos' Sigler 

                                         Thursday, May 17, 2001

                                         By Christopher Rawson, Post-Gazette Drama Critic 

                                         This is not, make that NOT, your mother's "Cinderella."

                                         How could it be, with Eartha Kitt playing the
                                         Fairy Godmother with feline growl, turning her
                                         hapless goddaughter into an empowerment
                                         project? Kitt is no Glinda the Goody-Good, but
                                         a Godmother you'd expect to pair with a
                                         Godfather -- a woman who's Been Around
                                         more than once and isn't going to let her young
                                         charge wimp out.

                                         The miracle is that she puts her stamp on the
                                         show in just one and a half scenes. But she
                                         never wholly succeeds in putting spine in
                                         Cinderella, as played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler,
                                         better known as Meadow Soprano on HBO's
                                         "The Sopranos."

                                         Sigler has moments of youthful charm, mainly when playing with the friendly
                                         puppet animals. And though her voice isn't Broadway beautiful, it has a
                                         pleasing light pop sound. But her Cinderella must be the dourest ever --
                                         essentially WAP (whiny American princess), retaining her pout even when she
                                         ought to express joy.

                                         I'm certainly happy to see a Cinderella out of the usual golden girl mold. There
                                         is a gritty reality to Sigler's bedraggled waif. She's at her best expressing
                                         familial deprivation (a la Meadow) or tucked into her chimney corner singing
                                         with the toy pets. But I don't see her grow or blossom. Even when paired
                                         with the Prince, she's abashed and morose. I'd recommend more
                                         self-improvement sessions with that gutsy gutteral Godmother.

                                         In short, the Godmother remains Eartha Kitt, which is great; that Cinderella
                                         seems like Meadow Soprano isn't.

                                         Fortunately, Cinderella's depression is well motivated by the comic villain,
                                         Everett Quinton, who stiffens the comic stepmom with moments of steely
                                         denial. The stepsisters are less villains than victims and fools -- Leslie
                                         Becker's Joy is joyless and NaTasha Yvette Williams' brawny Grace is an oaf
                                         (and especially funny).

                                         Up at the palace, Paolo Montalban's Prince sings well and emotes pleasingly
                                         within his allotted range. He's also a handsome fellow, which director Gabriel
                                         Barre knows, since he has him strip off his shirt to show his admirable biceps.
                                         Ken Prymus' pudgy King and Leslie Becker's slip of a Queen are a nice
                                         contrast, more comic than coercive, and Brooks Ashmanskas does a lively
                                         Nathan Lane turn as the palace steward.

                                         These families are multi-ethnic and the kingdom, as designed by James
                                         Youmans and Pamela Scofield, is of no particular place or time, a vague cross
                                         between Arabian Nights and Teutonic. Call it Somethingstan. But it's hard for
                                         any town bazaar to be truly bustling when there are just a dozen ensemble
                                         members. At the ball, it seems no one showed up and the footmen are
                                         pressed into service instead.

                                         Though Eastern puppet techniques have become common on our stages, the
                                         six animals manipulated with sticks by black-clad handlers are audience
                                         favorites as they chatter, advise and sing backup.

                                         Just as Godmother's tough sergeant mode makes it seem Cinderella will have
                                         to hitch-hike to the ball, the show relents and gives us the magical
                                         transformation we expect. The midnight switch back into rags is even more

                                         At times, Tuesday, the orchestral sound was coarse, perhaps because of
                                         over-reliance on synthesizers, perhaps because opening night on the road
                                         lacks fine-tuning. Although the score is by Rodgers and Hammerstein (written
                                         first for TV), it's about as minor as R&H get, its two standards being "In My
                                         Own Little Corner" and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful."

                                         In the curtain call, Kitt, 70-plus, touches the floor. Why? Because she still
                                         can! Give us more Kitt!