From Real Housewife to Real Wicked: NeNe Leakes to Make Broadway Debut in ‘Cinderella’

NeNe Leakes Broadway Debut

Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Cirque du Soleil

NeNe Leakes just signed on to play wicked stepmother Madame in the Broadway adaptation of Cinderella in November.

While it has been confirmed Leakes and the rest of The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast will be returning for the Bravo TV show’s seventh season, Leakes will have to take a short break from her time in front of the reality-show cameras.

On Nov. 25, Leakes will step in to take the wicked role from former The View co-host Sherri Shepherd who will start out playing Madame on Sept. 9.

The Broadway run will conclude in January 2015.

Taking on an acting role will be nothing new for the dramatic reality star.

Leakes has already had a guest role on the Fox show Glee as well as joined the NBC show The New Normal for the 2012-13 TV season.

Other TV appearances for Leakes include the NBC reality show competition Celebrity Apprentice in 2011 and Dancing with the Stars on ABC earlier this year.

More recently, she also hosted a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas in June.

With a resume like that, the production team behind the Broadway show is sure that Leakes will be able to hold her own on the stage alongside actress KeKe Palmer.

Palmer is making history as the first African-American woman to play Cinderella on Broadway.

“I feel like the reason I’m able to do this is definitely because Brandy did it on TV,” Palmer told The Associated Press when she received the major role. “In me doing this, it shows everybody that everything is possible … Every girl’s dream is that story, so to be able to play [Cinderella] is going to be a dream come true for me. Not to mention that Stuart Weitzman made the glass slippers I’ll be wearing.”

The show will be directed by Mark Brokaw and, according to, this won’t be your average Cinderella story.

“This Cinderella features a completely re-imaged book by (playwright) Douglas Carter Beane and additional Rodgers and Hammerstein songs originally composed for other musicals,” reports.

No reports have been able to confirm why Shepherd has decided not to perform for the entire show run.


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