‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ is turning 25 years old this year — and to celebrate, members of the original,cast will come together to celebrate with a television special later this month.
The original film, which hasn’t aired on broadcast television in more than two decades, will follow the special.
According to the network, the one-hour program “dives into the film’s positive impact on representation in Hollywood” and features exclusive interviews, as well as behind-the-scenes moments with late pop music icon Whitney Houston — who portrayed the Fairy Godmother.
“We’re delighted that the 25th anniversary of this landmark incarnation of ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ is being celebrated on its original network,” Imogen Lloyd Webber of Concord Theatricals, on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, said in Thursday’s announcement. “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.”
Set to air during Disney’s World Princess Week, the one-hour special will also feature Billy Porter, Jade Jones and Todrick Hall offering insight on how the colorblind-casted Robert Iscove-helmed film affected their lives.
The Emmy, Grammy and two-time Tony Award-winning Porter portrayed gender-neutral fairy godmother, Fabulous Godmother, in Amazon Prime’s recent reimagining of “Cinderella.” Hall, the “Celebrity Big Brother” castoff, is a “Cinderella” superfan who has produced several modern adaptations of the story on YouTube. Jones plays Belle in the off-Broadway tour of “Beauty and the Beast.”
When it premiered Nov. 2, 1997, the musical film became a cultural touchstone for championing diversity with the Atlantic Records superstar cast as the first Black princess in Disney history. More than 60 million viewers tuned into the broadcast of the live-action fairy tale adaptation, which garnered critical acclaim and seven Emmy nominations the next year.
After taking its time to show up on streaming services, the Debra Martin Chase-produced tour-de-force finally debuted on Disney+ in February 2021 after a new wave of fan engagement.
We can’t wait to watch.