A Fairy Tale

ABC Brought Together the Cast From 1997’s Cinderella and All of the Good Memories From It Too

Last night we were transported back to the 90s, with a special TV reunion event of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, or simply known as Cinderella. It has been 25 years since Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston graced our TV screens singing (and probably you too) “Impossible”. And ABC brought the cast back, and a few guests, during Disney’s World Princess Week to discuss the development of this TV film and the impact that it had on the world years later.

This second remake of the musical from theatre-writing team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II is a much loved rendition by many. This version of Cinderella was known for its diverse cast, consisting of music industry and queer icons Whitney Houston and Brandy Norwood, Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, Paolo Montalbán, Natalie Desselle, Veanne Cox, and Victor Garber.

Norwood was placed into the titular role, with Houston playing her Fairy Godmother (ICONIC) and Montalbán, Goldberg, and Garber playing Prince Christopher, Queen Constantina, and King Maximillian. Norwood was already an R&B pop princess and was made into a Disney princess when she became the first Black woman to play Cinderella, inspiring Black girls all over with her representation.  

“My dream when I was a young girl was to be a singer, have my own band and meet Whitney Houston. That was it,” Norwood said during the TV special. “I had no idea that my destiny would take me to a role [like] Cinderella, [or that I would] be the first woman of color to play her. And then for Whitney Houston to be my Fairy Godmother… you gotta be kidding me.”

And honestly, watching Norwood act and sing opposite of Houston is a joy and their relationship was truly a loving one.

With lavish set designs, new compositions, and campy nature, this TV musical film became a huge success in the 90s and has stayed in the hearts of many queer folks decades later. Additionally, future remakes have been made, including the most recent version with Camila Cabello and Billy Porter starring as Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother respectively. So with this ABC reunion special, viewers were sent back in time and they couldn’t hold in their excitement. 

And now you can relive the magic by watching Cinderella on Disney+.

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