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Keke Palmer cast as Broadway’s first black Cinderella

Actress Keke Palmer poses in the press room during the BET AWARDS '14 at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on June 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BET

Actress/singer Keke Palmer will get to play a classic role on Broadway and in the process she will be making history. According to a report by the Associated Press Monday, Palmer is stepping into the title role of Cinderella in “Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” for eight shows a week on Broadway. The 21-year-old actress will become the first African-American to play the part on a Broadway stage.

Filled with excitement, Palmer told the AP in a phone interview, “It’s honestly one of those things that I can’t believe is really happening. I’m very excited. Very excited and nervous as well – a bunch of feelings at once.” The “Akeelah and the Bee” star will be making her professional stage debut and will follow the foot steps of Tony-nominated actress Laura Osnes, pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen and Pague Faure in playing the classic role.

Palmer is a rising star who already has many screen credits. The Illinois-born actress played Chili in “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” has appeared in a Tyler Perry movie and starred in Lifetime’s “A Trip to Beautiful” with Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams. Palmer also has her own BET talk show and has released two albums.

The multi-talented actress was up for the role of Whitney Houston in the upcoming Lifetime biopic, but turned down the role. In an interview with the grio published back in July, Palmer said she didn’t want to play the role because the family wasn’t involved. She said, “I think if you’re going to do a movie or biopic about someone, the family needs to be involved, because you want it to be as honest as possible. I think that was what didn’t really make me go out for it.”

Speaking of Houston, the late R&B diva played the fairy godmother in the 1997 TV movie with singer and actress Brandy Norwood playing the role as Cinderella. Brandy is an idol of Palmer’s and she cited Brandy playing Cinderella has opened up this opportunity for her. She said, “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.”

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