ABC Reuniting ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ Cast for 25th Anniversary
ABC is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella in style.
ABC News Studios will air, as part of Disney’s World Princess Week, Cinderella: The Reunion, A Special Edition of 20/20 on Tuesday, August 23 at 8/7c on ABC. (It will be available to stream the following day on Hulu). The 25th anniversary celebration will feature members of its all-star cast: Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg, Paolo Montalban, Victor Garber, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, and Veanne Cox. Following the news special, The Wonderful World of Disney will air, for the first time on broadcast television in more than two decades, a presentation of the original 1997 film at 9/8c. (You can stream the movie now on Disney+.)
The one-hour special will dive into the film’s positive impact on representation in Hollywood and features interviews with stars who share a connection to the project, including Billy Porter (the gender-neutral fairy godmother, Fabulous Godmother, in the 2021 Amazon Original Cinderella reimagining), Jade Jones (Belle in the off-Broadway tour of Beauty and the Beast, and singer-songwriter and choreographer Todrick Hall (a Cinderella superfan who has drawn inspiration from the film throughout his career). It will also feature interviews with the film’s original production team, including producers Debra Martin Chase and Neil Meron and costume designer Ellen Mirojnick.
“We’re delighted that the 25th anniversary of this landmark incarnation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is being celebrated on its original network,” said Imogen Lloyd Webber, SVP at Concord Theatricals, on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, in a statement. “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s unforgettable score is truly timeless — still enchanting listeners 80 years after their partnership began and 65 years since their Cinderella first charmed the largest audience in television history.”
The classic Disney live-action film included the groundbreaking moment in television history with America’s first Black Cinderella (Brandy) and Fairy Godmother (Whitney Houston), who helped the former after her cruel stepmother prevented her from attending the Royal Ball. The reunion special explores how the revolutionary made-for-television musical expanded society’s view of the term “princess” and in addition to interviews with the original cast, it will include rare behind-the-scenes footage with Houston.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella originally premiered on November 2, 1997, to 60 million viewers on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney. It was nominated for seven Emmys. The film features beloved and original songs by the iconic songwriting duo Rodgers & Hammerstein, including “Impossible,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “A Lovely Night,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was originally presented on television in 1957 and starred Julie Andrews. It was the only musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for the medium.
Cinderella: The Reunion, A Special Edition of 20/20, Tuesday, September 23, 8/7c, ABC