Denise Lanctot
February 13, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (TV Movie - 1997)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
Wide Release Date
11/02/97
performer
Brandy, Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander, Victor Garber, Whoopi Goldberg, Paolo Montalban, Bernadette Peters
director
Robert Iscove
Producers
Walt Disney Television
distributor
ABC
author
Robert L. Freedman
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, musical

We gave it a B

Three cheers for a television musical with soaring melodies, witty lyrics, and real actors instead of Muzak, rhyming drivel, and animated blobs! It’s clear why last November’s lavish ABC remake of the 1957 musical (with three songs added from other Richard Rodgers projects) attracted an audience 34 million strong. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is chockful of kitschy excess: divas doing overtime (Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, and Whitney Houston deliver 200-proof Camp & Vamp with gleeful vengeance); dreamy MGM-ish choreography (by Rob Marshall); and sets and costumes that wed Salvador Dalí with Gustav Klimt. But Cinderella is oddly vacuous — pop star Brandy is Barbie-doll blank and her hoarse voice strains to lyric-soprano heights. The real fairy tale is newcomer Paolo Montalban, whose Prince is perfectly charming. B

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