Entertainment

The 1997 ‘Cinderella’ Starring Brandy and Whitney Houston Will Finally Stream on Disney+ and Fans Can’t Contain Their Excitement

Photo via Disneyplus/Instagram

This one is for all you ’90s babies out there. Since Disney+ launched in 2019, the streaming service provided an endless selection of throw-back titles that sparked all of our nostalgia (we’re looking at you, “Gotta Kick it Up“).

But die-hard Disney fans couldn’t help but notice a mysterious and unexplained absence of a classic from their library. Where was the 1997 classic “Cinderella” starring Brandy?

Well finally, our prayers have been answered. On Thursday, Disney announced that “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” will be available for streaming on Disney+ on February 12th.

Many millennials–and maybe even some older Gen Zers–remember this version of “Cinderella” as the colorblind casting experiment that had a Black princess (played by Brandy), a South Asian prince (played by Paolo Montalban), a white stepmother (played by Bernadette Peters) and a Black fairy godmother (played by the late, great Whitney Houston).

At the time, the TV-movie was groundbreaking for its multiethnic cast. Even the background actors were from racially diverse.

“One of [the casting director’s] mantras, the philosophy that begat ‘Hamilton’ in fact, was to do color blind casting and always cast with diversity,” one of the movie’s producers explained to Shondaland in an oral history about the movie. “It informed how we looked at the world and how we looked at our projects. We want to reflect the world we’re working in.”

“We even got the dancers we wanted,” said another producer. “We cast Latino, Asian, white, and black dancers.”

Since the movie’s premiere in 1997, the entertainment industry has become much more open-minded when it comes to colorblind casting–a term that has now evolved into “color-conscious casting“.

Colorblind/conscious casting has become more mainstream due to cultural phenomena like “Hamilton” and “Bridgerton“.

According to Diep Tran, the associate editor of American Theatre magazine, color-conscious casting means “we’re aware of the historic discrimination in the entertainment industry and we’re also aware of what it means to put a body of color onstage.”

Naturally, fans of the 1997 film are over-the-moon that this Disney deep-cut is coming to a streaming service.

Fans have been campaigning for the movie to be on Disney+ since the streaming service launched in 2019

Twitter is awash with celebratory statements like “Brandy and Whitney Houston acting on a screen together is a beautiful blessing” and “IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!! GUESS WHAT MY HUSBAND IS NOW GOING TO BE FORCED TO WATCH WITH ME!!!”… Hey, that last one isn’t really a bad idea.

We, for one, will definitely be tuning in on February 12th to take a much-need walk down memory lane.

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Whitney Houston’s Estate Released Images Of Her Hologram And Basically It’s As Scary As Seeing La Llorona

Entertainment

Whitney Houston’s Estate Released Images Of Her Hologram And Basically It’s As Scary As Seeing La Llorona

@1043MYfm / Twitter

Last year when the world learned that the estate of the later singer Whitney Houston planned to send her hologram on your, there was a mass of objections and outcries. Now that a sneak peek of the tour has been released, fans have dug in their heels.

“An Evening With Whitney : The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour” will begin on February 25 in the UK.

While Houston’s death occurred eight years ago, her estate has decided to bring her back to life for fans by giving her a new tour experience. According to The New York Post, “‘An Evening With Whitney’ was designed with Whitney’s image in mind, Pat Houston, the singer’s former manager and head of the Whitney Houston estate, said. Whitney planned on giving a more intimate, unplugged-esque tour before she died. And while that never took place when she was alive, the production team behind the hologram has ensured her vision will happen posthumously.”

“We had a discussion about her doing ‘Whitney Unplugged’ or some type of ‘Evening with Whitney,’ and that was really her idea,” Pat Houston said according to the Post. “It’s a dream that was realized by her. So that’s the production. This isn’t something that we’re just putting together. This is something that she wanted to do, and I get very emotional watching this because it is so close to what she wanted. The only thing missing was her, physically.”

Whitney fans have taken to Twitter to voice their horror over the hologram which, in all honesty, is alarming to see at first.

Literally so many fans have been left speechless.

And so many of u shave too many questions.

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Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Is Getting A New Elsa And Ciara Renée Will Be Playing The Beloved Character

Entertainment

Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Is Getting A New Elsa And Ciara Renée Will Be Playing The Beloved Character

ciararenee8 / Instagram

What do Idina Menzel, Caissie Levy, and Caroline Bowman have in common? They’re all Broadway actresses that have portrayed Elsa from “Frozen.” They also happen to be all white. Well, that’s all about to change!

Afro-Latina actress Ciara Renée will be playing the role of Elsa in “Frozen” on Broadway.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

Frozen made its Broadway debut in 2018 and was played by Caissie Levy. Idina Menzel was the voice of Elsa in the animated film. Now, an Afro-Latina has scored the coveted role. 

Renée will be playing Elsa, and McKenzie Kurtz will be making her Broadway debut as Anna. Renée and McKenzie will take over the roles. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin end their run as Elsa and Anna respectively on Feb. 16. Renée was previously in the Broadway show “Big Fish” as the Witch as well as “Pippin.”

“Here it is! It’s official! I’m joining the cast of @frozenbroadway as Elsa alongside this bright new star, @mckenziekurtz! And I am incredibly grateful! This is an opportunity to expand minds, open hearts, and empower folks with the power of LOVE! I can’t wait to get started!”

While we’re still getting to know the 29-year-old, we are learning so much about this extraordinary actress who is pretty amazing at showing her biggest supporters lots of love in return.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

Renée, who is half Black and half Puerto Rican, thanked her friends, family, and supporters by giving them exact instructions on what to do when they come to see her show on Broadway. 

“I just want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for all the support and love I received yesterday. It was honestly overwhelming. Thank you, thank you,” Renée said in a video on her Insta-story. “I am so thrilled to be playing Elsa.” 

“But I wanted to set down some ground rules about people coming to see the show,” she said. “I am always so grateful when people come to see the show, people I know, people I don’t. But it isn’t my favorite thing to know when you’re coming. So, if you’re someone I know well, and we have each other’s phone number and you live in New York City, please do not tell me when you’re coming. Please come and text me at intermission or at the end of the show, which is preferred, and I will make sure to put your name on the list. I will check it right after the show.”

She also gave instructions to those she doesn’t know all that well. “If we don’t know each other well or talk super often or you’re from out of town, please do let me know when you’re coming because I want to make sure that I get to see you. For everybody else, I will 100 percent do my very best to Stage Door [where actors meet fans after the show as they exit the theater] as much as humanly possible. I know people come from all over the world to see Broadway and I want to be there as much as I can. If I am not there, please know it’s for a reason. I may not be feeling well, or something is pulling me away, I don’t know what it is, but I will always do my best to Stage Door because I love meeting you all and I am so honored that you would come to see our shows.”

We just love how precise and in control she is about meeting friends and fans. That kind of gratitude will definitely take her far in Broadway and Hollywood. 

Aside from her work on the stage, Renée has also appeared in several television shows.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native and 2013 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University has appeared in Facebook Watch’s series “Strangers,” Netflix’s “Master of None,” CBS’s “Big Bang Theory,” and on the CW’s superhero series “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Arrow,” and “Flash.”

If you haven’t heard Renée’s stellar voice, here’s a clip of the actress singing Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold.”

Congrats on this new role, Ciara! We can’t wait to see her show on Broadway! Will you be going?

READ: The New Cinderella Remake Tapped Camila Cabello To Play The Princess And Billy Porter To Be The Fabulous Godmother

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