Seeing Broadway’s First Black Cinderella

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Cinderella on Broadway Shop Tees | The Girl Next Door is BlackWhen I heard of Keke Palmer’s casting as the first black Cinderella on Broadway, I didn’t imagine I’d end up seeing the show in person!

It was a girls night out: sisters and groups of friends; an adorable Girl Scout troop of mostly pre-tween and tween black girls and quite a few mother/daughter pairings attended. One little girl dressed like a little lady wearing pearls and donning an updo, accompanied by her very chic and sophisticated mother who wore an enviable black cape, melted my heart. I attend a lot of plays and as I snarked to my sister, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many black people at a play in my life” [Chitlin’ circuit excluded]. I’m so used to being one of few. Even when I saw Porgy and Bess recently, whose cast is majority black, my friend and I were two of a countable number of black people in attendance. I found the audience diversity refreshing.

Keke Palmer delighted as Cinderella. To think that she’s only 21 and has already accomplished so much in her life. Her talent seems boundless.

Sherri Shepherd starred as Cinderella’s mean stepmother. I have had mixed feelings for Sherri in the past. I attended the same acting school she did, years after she moved on, and as one of the school’s success stories, Sherri was often a topic of conversation. It was her stint on The View that soured me though (“I don’t know if the earth is flat” anyone?). I wasn’t sure what to expect from her performance. I’m happy to share that she played the hell out of her character – a hilariously wicked stepmother. I enjoyed ever minute she spent onstage.

The show itself was wonderfully produced, surprisingly funny, and even magical at times. They pulled off the fastest, most seamless costume changes I’ve ever witnessed. After the show, I hustled my sister to the side stage door to wait for the cast to come out and sign autographs.

Both Keke and Sherri braved the chill to take photos with and sign autographs for each and every fan waiting. Impressively, Sherri listened patiently as one fan tried to promote her singing talent to Sherri. Even though the woman had no demo, no videos of her performing or even business cards, Sherri gave her helpful tips for building a foundation for a singing career – even though as she said, “I can’t really do anything for you. I don’t have those connections.” That really endeared her to me.

After our successful celebrity encounters, we headed to Junior’s for a late post-show dinner and to relive our fantastic evening over cheesecake.

With Keke Palmer After Broadway Show | The Girl Next Door is Black

Keke is the sweetest. She told my sister (who is around the same age, has loved her since ‘True Jackson, VP’ and thinks of her as her “best friend in her head”) that she loved her lipstick and asked her where she got it. Then she told us we were “beautiful girls.” Aw, Keke.

Meeting Sherri Shepherd on Broadway | The Girl Next Door is Black

Sherri is so kind and patient with the crowd. She looked much slimmer too; whatever she’s doing is working for her!

 

12 Comments
  • Linda Manns Linneman
    July 12, 2015

    This is awesome. It sounds like you had a wonderful time with a great group of people. I am so glad you got to enjoy this. Thank you for sharing

  • Lynne Streeter Childress
    December 15, 2014

    I want to see that show!! I love that little girls of all hues will see that we can all be princesses!!!

  • Nami
    December 14, 2014

    Hi Keisha, Just been catching up on your posts! Love the new look of the blog! That’s awesome that you got to see a show on Broadway! Very exciting! Hope you’re doing well! Nami

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      December 14, 2014

      Hi Nami! Thanks for the blog kudos – it was a labor of love. It always feel extra special seeing a show on Broadway. I love it.

      Good to hear from you!

  • BritishMumUSA
    December 13, 2014

    Oh I love seeing shows at Christmas, I miss the Pantomime at this time of year in London, they are fantastic. I always wonder why it never made it big here. Last show we saw at this time of year was Wicked. Love that one….. We have never seen the cast after, I will try that the next time we have the chance to go. Loved your review.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      December 20, 2014

      Thanks, Rae! I haven’t heard of Pantomime, I’ll have to look them up. I haven’t seen Wicked yet. I want to, but another show always ends up taking wallet priority. One day!

  • Akaleistar
    December 13, 2014

    How fun! I really want to go see this 🙂

  • Vanessa Morgan
    December 12, 2014

    I so wish I could go. Awesome.

  • Brittany
    December 8, 2014

    I would love to see that show. I’m so glad she was so friendly and you got pics! Yay!

  • Laina Turner
    December 8, 2014

    Great review and your writing is hysterical:)

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