Keke Palmer, 20, has just been cast as Broadway’s first black Cinderella with Sherri Shepherd as her wicked stepmother. 20-year-old Keke Palmer is making history all over the place! First, she was the youngest person to ever be granted a talk show in BET’s Just Keke, and it has just been announced that she will play the first black Cinderella on Broadway. Read on for all the details!
Keke will be taking over the role of Cinderella (or “Ella”) from Paige Faure, who took over from Carly Rae Jepsen in June. Keke’s Broadway debut will happen September 9, which is not too far off — we hope she’s deep in rehearsal!
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While Keke is the first black Cinderella on Broadway, she’s not the first black Cinderella ever. Let us not forget the 1997 ABC TV movie masterpiece which saw Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother.
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Keke Played Akeelah In ‘Akeelah And The Bee’ — She’s No Stranger To High-Pressure, Titular Roles
Do you think that Keke is a good choice to play “Ella”?
Keke is a multitalented young girl and we’re certain that she’s up to the challenge of playing the titular role in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella; she has been in the business since she was just 10 years old! For her film debut, she played Queen Latifah‘s niece in Barbershop 2: Back In Business.
Furthermore, Keke released her first studio album, So Uncool, in 2007 at the age of 14, and her most recent mixtape, Keke Palmer, showed a more mature side to the actress/singer.
Not only will Cinderella not be her first time acting and singing, but it also won’t be her first time in a high-pressure, titular role — in 2006, she played Akeelah in the award-winning Akeelah And The Bee. For her portrayal, Keke won the award for Outstanding Actress In A Motion Picture from the NAACP Image Awards — no small feat, considering her competition was Beyonce in Dreamgirls and former co-star Queen Latifah in Last Holiday.
Sherri Shepherd will be playing Keke’s evil stepmother, and Entertainment Weekly has reported that they’re looking at TV stars to fill the role of the fairy godmother — NeNe Leakes, in particular, is a name being tossed around.
So, HollywoodLifers, will you be seeing Keke play Ella on Broadway? If you’re not interested (or if you’re not able to), do you think she’ll do a good job? Let us know!
– Amanda Michelle Steiner