This is your invitation to the celebration honoring the 25th anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
On August 23rd at 8PM, ABC will air a Special Edition of 20/20 in honor of the 1997 musical — it will stream on Hulu the next day. Original stars of the musical: Brandy, Paolo Montalban, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander and Veanne Cox will return to celebrate the classic TV movie.
Along with the original cast, Billy Porter, Todrick Hall, Jade Jones, and more will make an appearance, reflecting on the impact of the movie musical.
The 20/20 special will include behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with original cast members, and an exploration of how the musical revolutionized television and who gets to use the moniker “princess.” Also featured will be interviews with the original production team, including producers Debra Martin Chase and Neil Meron, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, and more.
The special will be followed by an airing of the 1997 Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella, the first time it has aired on broadcast television in over two decades.
The 1997 Disney movie was a groundbreaking moment for the network and the fairy-tale, introducing Brandy and Whitney Houston as the first Black Cinderella and Fairy Godmother.
Initially aired November 2, 1997, as part of the Wonderful World of Disney lineup on ABC, the film features Brandy as Cinderella opposite Houston as the Fairy Godmother, with a number of theatre luminaries rounding out the cast. Bernadette Peters co-stars as the Stepmother with Veanne Cox and the late Natalie Desselle as Stepsisters Calliope and Minerva, respectively. Whoopi Goldberg plays Queen Constantina, with Victor Garber as King Maximillian, Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher, and Jason Alexander as the valet Lionel.
ABC estimated that more than 60 million people watched the program live. The special was noted at the time for its colorblind casting that resulted in a celebrated multi-cultural representation. “It’s extraordinary,” said Victor Garber at the NYC premiere in 1997. “I’m married to Whoopi Goldberg and I have an Asian son.”