So wait a minute, the same girl who stole our hearts at the age of 13 in her performance in Akeelah and the Bee, is the same girl who is wearing my jeans, is the same girl who played Chili in the recent TLC biopic, is the same girl who will be starring as Broadway’s first African-American Cinderella…WHAT!
Keke Palmer is starring in Broadway’s production of Cinderella as the latest breakthrough for African-American actors on Broadway. Following after Norm Lewis as the first black man in the title role in “The Phantom of the Opera,” Nikki M. James playing Eponine in “Les Miserables,” James Monroe Iglehart as Genie in “Aladdin,” Audra McDonald as Billie Holliday in “Circle in a Sqaure,” and Condola Rashad as Juliet opposite Orlando Bloom’s Romeo.
Many of us will never forget Brandy’s performance in the made-for-TV version of Cinderella that aired on ABC (that also just happened to star Whitney Houston and a completely mixed-race cast.) It was the first time that I can remember a movie on television having completely color-blind casting, which was groundbreaking at the time (and to be honest, still is today).
Not to mention, I think having an African-American Cinderella lends the story way more cultural subtext which leads to an even more dynamic story.
Keke Palmer gives Brandy credit when it comes to the casting decision, “I feel like the reason I’m able to do this is definitely because Brandy did it on TV. In me doing this it shows everybody that everything is possible.”
Oh girl, ain’t it the truth. “Impossible things are happening EVERYDAYYYY!”