Cinderella to Close on Broadway; "Real Housewives" Star NeNe Leakes Joins Cast

News   Cinderella to Close on Broadway; "Real Housewives" Star NeNe Leakes Joins Cast
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which arrived at the Broadway Theatre in early 2013, will end its Broadway run in January, producers announced Sept. 3. It was also revealed that "Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member NeNe Leakes will join the company for the production's final month of performances.

NeNe Leakes
NeNe Leakes

Leakes ("Glee," "The New Normal") will step into the role of wicked stepmother Madame beginning Nov. 25. She will take over for "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd, who begins performances as Madame Sept. 9.

Producers also announced Sept. 3 that the Broadway production will end its run Jan. 3, 2015, after playing 41 previews and 770 regular performances.

As previously reported, the Broadway production will welcome Keke Palmer ("Just Keke" "Trip to Bountiful," "Akeelah and the Bee," Joyful Noise") as Cinderella beginning Sept. 9. Tony winner Judy Kaye (Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Phantom of the Opera, Souvenir) will take on the role of Cinderella's fairy godmother, beginning Sept. 12.

Cinderella currently features Paige Faure as Cinderella, Joe Carroll as Prince Topher, Nancy Opel as Madame, 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.

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 ActXanadu, 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.


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