A Whole New "Ball" Game: Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd Make Historic Broadway Debuts in Cinderella

By Karu F. Daniels
25 Aug 2014

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer

Playbill.com catches up with Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd, who are about to make their Broadway debuts in Rodgers and Hammerstein's fairy-tale musical Cinderella.


Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd may be sharing a history-making moment by joining the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella Sept. 9, but the two Chicago-area natives have more in common than getting suited up in corsets and billowy gowns for the musical, currently playing at The Broadway Theatre.

In 2012, both starred in the Lifetime network movie "Abducted: The Carlina White Story." Shepherd — who recently wrapped up a seven-year stint on ABC's "The View" — played a mother reuniting with the newborn baby stolen from her decades before. Palmer — who made history in June as the youngest person to host a daytime talk show (BET's "Just Keke") — portrayed the title role in the award-winning telepic based on a true story.

As previously reported, the 21-year old former Nickelodeon star ("True Jackson VP") will make history as the first African American to play the role of Cinderella on Broadway.

And during a recent interview with Playbill.com, she was sort of at a loss for words about the achievement.

"I don't think there are really words that can be expressed to say how I feel. I just try to be gracious in everything I do to show my appreciation," Palmer said.

Of the momentous feat, Shepherd shared: "Wow, she's the first black woman to play Cinderella [on Broadway], and I don't know if I'm the first black woman playing Madame, but to be making history, I am so thrilled that she's doing this. I just think Keke has been under the radar for so long and now she has this star that's shining so brightly, and I love that. More people are getting to see what this girl can do."

This is the first foray into musical theatre and on the Broadway stage for both actresses and talk show hosts — and as can be expected, both of their nerves are aflutter.


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