Playbill On-Line has learned that Eartha Kitt will portray the Fairy Godmother in the NYCO staging, re-creating the role she played in the recent national tour of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. And, Lea DeLaria will star as one of the evil Stepsisters. Kitt and DeLaria join the previously announced Sarah Uriarte Berry and Christopher Sieber, who will play Cinderella and her Prince. Casting for all four actors were confirmed by their respective spokespeople.
Lypsinka's John Epperson also confirmed that he will star as the Wicked Stepmother. According to Epperson, the remainder of the cast will feature Ana Gasteyer as the other Stepsister and Renee Taylor and Dick Van Patten as the Queen and King.
Baayork Lee : of A Chorus Line fame : will direct the company and Gerald Steichen will conduct the orchestra for the mounting of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Nov. 12-21. Others on the creative team include Henry Bardon (set designer), Gregg Barnes (costume designer), Abe Jacob (sound designer) and Celeste Montemarano (supertitles).
Featuring music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics and a book by Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella is based on the 1957 television special starring Julie Andrews in the title role. This stage adaptation will include three rediscovered Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. City Opera originally presented the rags-to-riches story onstage in 1993 with a cast led by Crista Moore as Cinderella, Sally Ann Howes as the Fairy Godmother, Nancy Marchand as Cinderella's Stepmother and Alix Korey and Jeanette Palmer as the wicked Stepsisters.
In related news, the original 1957 television version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" : starring Julie Andrews : will air on PBS stations across the country Dec. 13.
Eartha Kitt was most recently on Broadway in Nine. A world-renowned concert artist and actress, Kitt has also appeared on Broadway in Bal Negre, Leonard Silliman's New Faces of 1952, Mrs. Patterson, Shinbone Alley, Jolly's Progress, Timbuktu! and The Wild Party. She received her first Tony nomination for her performance in Timbuktu! and her second for her work in The Wild Party.
Lea DeLaria received an Obie and a Theater World Award for her work in the Public Theater's revival of On the Town. She also starred in the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show and the City Center Encores! presentation of Li'l Abner. Her other theatrical credits include Little Fish, Chicago, The Boys From Syracuse, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and As You Like It. An acclaimed stand-up comic, DeLaria is also an accomplished jazz singer, and her solo recordings include "Play It Cool" and "Double Standards."