Next month, KeKe Palmer will make history as the first black actress to star as Cinderella on Broadway.
Palmer will step into the title role in Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella beginning September 9.
“It’s honestly one of those things that I can’t believe is really happening,” Palmer told the Associated Press. “I’m very excited. Very excited and nervous as well — a bunch of feelings all at once.”
One of Palmer’s greatest influences growing up was singer and actress Brandy Norwood, who played Cinderella in a 1997 TV movie opposite Whitney Houston.
“I feel like the reason I’m able to do this is definitely because Brandy did it on TV,” Palmer said. “In me doing this, it shows everybody that everything is possible.”
Today on ABC’s The View, Sherri Shepherd announced that she will make her Broadway debut alongside Palmer as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Madame.
Actors Equity honored the Broadway musical with their award “Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway” in 2013.
Shepherd also is making history as the first African-American to portray Cinderella’s stepmother on Broadway.
“We’ve always just cast the best people for the parts. Sometimes they’re African-American, sometimes they’re Latino, sometimes Asian-American,” Tony Award-winning producer Robyn Goodman said. “It’s wonderful when it works out and we’ve finally found our Cinderella.”
This is not the first time Palmer and Shepherd have collaborated together. Shepherd played Palmer’s on-screen mother in the 2012 Lifetime movie Abducted: The Carlina White Story.
Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.