“I have arrived… and the spotlight is on me, hunny,” says NeNe Leakes in her opening line on Bravo’s hit series, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The spotlight will indeed be shining again on Leakes soon — this time, on the Great White Way!
The Atlanta housewife will make her Broadway debut in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” on Nov. 25. She’ll play Madame, Cinderella’s stepmother — a part that doesn’t require much singing, but does require something Leakes has in spades: sass.
In the title role alongside Leakes will be “Akeelah and the Bee” star Keke Palmer, who, as previously reported, will make history on Sept. 9 as Broadway's youngest — and first African-American – Cinderella.
It will be the first time a “Real Housewife” has ever performed on Broadway.
Sadly, Leakes’ arrival in “Cinderella” will come at the end of the show’s run. The first Broadway production of the classic musical will close Jan. 3, 2015. At that time, it will have played 41 previews and 770 regular performances.
Leakes and Palmer will stay with the production through its closing. Leakes will replace Sherri Shepherd, who will perform the role Sept. 9 through Nov. 22.
Aside from her breakout turn in “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” NeNe Leakes has also been seen on a Bravo spin-off wedding series, "I Dream of NeNe," and two NBC shows: “The Celebrity Apprentice" and “The New Normal.” Last season, she appeared on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars," though was eliminted fifth.
This summer, Leakes made her stage debut for a 10-show engagement in the long-running Las Vegas hit, “Zumanity, The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil.” Her turn in show marked the first time Cirque du Soleil had ever integrated a celebrity into one of its shows in the company’s 30-year history.
A cast member since its first season, Leakes is currently filming the seventh season of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," which is set to premiere on Bravo sometime in 2015.