Her new daily talk-show on BET premiered not-so long ago, which I’m sure keeps her busy (in addition to her music career, TV and film acting work), but Keke Palmer is obviously not resting on her laurels, as the actress, singer, songwriter, talk-show host (and more) tells the AP that she’s heading to Broadway to become the first African American woman to play Cinderella on the so-called Great White Way.
"It’s honestly one of those things that I can’t believe is really happening," Palmer said. "I’m very excited. Very excited and nervous as well — a bunch of feelings all at once."
This will be the 21-year-old’s professional stage debut, when she takes over the title role, currently being played by the exiting Paige Faure, beginning September 9.
"Theater offers so much more than I haven’t been able to access doing film and TV and everything like that," she added. "I’m very excited to learn all that it has to offer — that focus and that dedication to perform at a certain level every night."
The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical fairy tale is being reworked by Douglas Carter Beane, who is updating the story for "a new generation."
Palmer can currently be seen on Showtime’s "Masters of Sex," and, most recently, co-starred in Lifetime’s TLC biopic "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story," playing Chili.
and the film Joyful Noise. Most recently, she hosted the talk show Just Keke on BET. Her albums include the 2007 CD So Uncool and a self-titled 2012 EP.
"She acts beautifully, she dances, she sings — she’s an amazing young woman. I think she’s going to be just so lovely," Tony Award-winning producer Robyn Goodman said, adding, "We’ve always just cast the best people for the parts. Sometimes they’re African-American, sometimes they’re Latino, sometimes Asian-American… It’s wonderful when it works out and we’ve finally found our Cinderella."
Palmer’s casting follows other recent Broadway casting breakthroughs for African Americans, including Norm Lewis as the first black man to play the title role in "The Phantom of the Opera," Nikki M. James playing Eponine in "Les Miserables," James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie in "Aladdin," and Condola Rashad as Juliet opposite Orlando Bloom’s Romeo.