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

By Karu F. Daniels
25 Aug 2014

Palmer and Shepherd in rehearsal

"So it really, really worked out as I was stepping away from 'The View' that this offer came up again and I said 'Oh, I gotta take it,'" she added.

Palmer, currently starring in Showtime's "Masters of Sex" series, said she auditioned for the role while in New York City promoting the TV show.

"My mom said, 'They're doing auditions for Cinderella on Broadway and they would like to see you. I don't know if you're into Broadway, really.' My mom always presents everything to me like she doesn't know if I'm into something. I'm like, 'Mom, you playing, girl,'" she said. "She always does that but my mom and I have a very, very cool type of relationship so I'm like, 'Yes, I would like to do that.'"

Palmer's parents, who are her managers, first met at drama school and were theatre actors before starting their family and then grooming their talented tyke for superstardom. Over the past decade, she has starred in a string of films and TV movies, most notably the aforementioned "Akeelah and the Bee" alongside Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne and the Emmy Award-nominated television adaptation of Horton Foote's The Trip To Bountiful, alongside Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood.

"Because I'm a little older, my mom lets me get my own independence in figuring out the characters on my own," she further explained. "So I performed it for her, the music and the lines and she was like, 'Okay girl, just make sure you go in there and live in that moment.' And my mom's expertise has been in theatre. It's never been in film, so this is exciting for her because she felt like she could really help me and she can really be more hands on with this than ever before. So it was a fun process, and it's going to be an even more fun process once we get into the real crunch."

Palmer is also looking forward to re-connecting with Shepherd, whom her family met 11 years ago at a party when they first relocated to Los Angeles, CA. 

"I'm really excited, not only because I've known her, but also because it's our very first time on Broadway together, and there isn't anybody that I can think of who it would be so much fun to experience this with," she added. "When we did the movie, we actually went out and talked and laughed and we had a friendship and so to work with her on this, it's going to be an even closer bond being built."

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