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.
25 years later, they're reunited! 🪄 Join our celebration by tuning in to @ABCNetwork on August 23 at 8/7c for "Cinderella: The Reunion" followed by an airing of the iconic film for the first time on broadcast TV in more than two decades! #Cinderella1997 @RnH_Org @abcnewsstudios pic.twitter.com/qRDz15GG44
— Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA (@RHCinderella) August 11, 2022
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.
RT if you never questioned this family's casting! #Cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/R6MtwHhAVx
— Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA (@RHCinderella) August 24, 2022
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.
30 mins ✨ #Cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/nmJscXksgB
— b r a n d y (@4everBrandy) August 23, 2022
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.
Brandy really got to work with the legendary Whoopi Goldberg and Whitney Houston. What a blessed life. #Cinderella1997
— 🧩 Raisa Habersham 🐾🐾🐾 (@newsworthy17) August 24, 2022
“She [Whoopi Goldberg] was my queen. She still is my queen.” I KNOW DATS RIGHT 👑❤️😭 #Cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/0Cg5pL4lOG
— Essence Gant (@EssenceGant) August 24, 2022
the way these two physically respond to each other makes me wanna pass out #cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/kI4xEsOIrs
— cricket (@Quiet_Spheres) August 24, 2022
THE RANGE! GET INTO THE RANGE! @OfficialBPeters gave you joy, hope, comedy and anger within three minutes during the 'A Lovely Night' scene. Mesmerizing! #Cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/pA0i37FcZL
— Virgo's Groove Supremacy. (@XOANTY) August 24, 2022
It’s time that queen Brandy got her flowers, this woman has a flawless discography, vocals that are out of this world (they don’t call her the vocal Bible for nothin!) & is the FIRST Black princess to portray Cinderella on screen. She’s the BLUEPRINT! @4everBrandy #Cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/wSdjb7LITn
— ☆𝓙𝓪𝓱𝓴𝓮𝓮𝓶☆ (@jahkeemstar) August 24, 2022
Oh Jason Alexander said yall know me from Seinfeld, but actually I'm a broadway king #Cinderella1997
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 24, 2022
This #cinderella1997 special warms my heart 🦋 that representation meant EVERYTHING to me as a little girl pic.twitter.com/fVZ3juKi0X
— Shauntell (@ShayLanise) August 24, 2022
I’d like to give flowers to EVERY 👏🏾 SINGLE 👏🏾 DANCER 👏🏾 in this ballroom scene! It gave ambiance! It gave fantasy! It gave moving dream world! I love to see it! #Cinderella1997
— Karys Belger (@KarysBelger) August 24, 2022
Hope Natalie Desselle is resting well 🙏🏾🕊🤍 #Cinderella1997 #CinderellaReunion pic.twitter.com/UmQtZIKhmJ
— Melissa Kimble (she/her) 🏁 (@Melissa_Kimble) August 24, 2022
Knowing that the staircase scene wasn’t an act & Paolo was actually in awe of Brandy just makes this 100x better #Cinderella1997 pic.twitter.com/N0thoftNiH
— NEVER SAY NEVER IS HER BEST ALBUM (@millesbabies) August 24, 2022
Paolo Montalban should have been a certified late 90s TV heartthrob. Like, up there with your JTTs and Rider Strongs. #Cinderella1997
— Kendra! (@KendraJames_) August 24, 2022
And now you can relive the magic by watching Cinderella on Disney+.