Leakes ("Glee," "The New Normal") succeeds "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd, who began performances as Madame Sept. 9.
A First Look at NeNe Leakes Getting Wicked in Broadway's Cinderella
The production currently stars Keke Palmer ("Just Keke" "Trip to Bountiful," "Akeelah and the Bee," Joyful Noise") as Cinderella opposite Tony winner Judy Kaye (Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Phantom of the Opera, Souvenir) as her fairy godmother.
Cinderella also features Joe Carroll as Prince Topher, Ann Harada as stepsister Charlotte, Stephanie Gibson as stepsister Gabrielle, Peter Bartlett as Sebastian, Prince Topher's mentor and Lord Chancellor, Todd Buonopane as the rebel Jean-Michel and Phumzile Sojola as Lord Pinkleton.
The Broadway production will end its run Jan. 3, 2015, after playing 41 previews and 770 regular performances. Directed by Mark Brokaw (The Lyons, Cry-Baby), the new production of Cinderella began Broadway previews Jan. 25, 2013, and officially opened March 3. The musical has songs by lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II and composer Richard Rodgers.
Cinderella, which premiered as a 1957 television film starring Julie Andrews in the title role, has been updated for contemporary audiences with a new book by four-time Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (The Nance, Sister Act, Xanadu, Lysistrata Jones, The Little Dog Laughed).
His treatment recharts the journey of the classic tale in a new way. Retaining all classic elements of the fairytale, Beane and the creative team offer audiences a fresh take that gives the female heroine a stronger point of view.
The new production incorporates rarely-heard songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue, including "Loved and Learned," "Now Is the Time," "Me, Who Am I?" and "The Music in You." Also featured are standards from the original television version, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible," "Ten Minutes Ago" and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?"
Cinderella is produced by Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Kocis, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Luigi Caiola & Rose Caiola, Roy Furman, Walt Grossman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, Glass Slipper Productions/Eric Schmidt, Ted Liebowitz/James Spry, Blanket Fort Productions and is produced in association with Center Theatre Group. Charles Salameno is associate producer.