Sunday, June 03, 2001

Win by 'Jane Eyre' star could save beautiful show

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        While I'll be rooting for University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music grad Faith Prince for her work in the revival of Bells Are Ringing, this isn't her year to take home the Tony for best actress in a musical.

        Bells is a slight show, and while Ms. Prince combines an irresistible warmth with a voice that was made for Broadway, her role as a gal who works at an answering service and fixes the lives of the clients (falling in love along the way) is also slight.

        Will somebody please write a show for her?

        She'll lose to Marla Schaffel who passionately embodied the title role in Jane Eyre — an engrossing, beautifully performed musical drama. (Who's complaining that Edward Rochester was never the hunk on the page that James Barbour is on the stage?)

        A labor of love that never found enough of an audience beyond the literature-loving set, any future relies on a Tony win by Ms. Schaffel. (Alanis Morissette put up enough money to keep the show open for a few weeks last month.)


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