Sunday, November 23, 2014

Why NeNe Leakes May Leave ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ for Broadway


NYPost.com:
In the intro to season 5 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” NeNe Leakes proclaimed, “I have arrived, and the spotlight is on me, honey!”

With the larger-than-life reality star’s splashy debut on Broadway this week, that’s now quite literally true.

Leakes, 46, joins the cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” on Tuesday. Opposite Keke Palmer in the title role, Leakes will play Madame, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, for the show’s final leg before it closes Jan. 3.

It’s not the first turn with scripted drama for the “Housewife.” She’s starred in “Glee” and “The New Normal” and also performed in Vegas’ Cirque du Soleil show “Zumanity” earlier this year as the “Mistress of Sensuality.”

Those roles led to interest in her, she says, from the Broadway show “Chicago” and “Rock of Ages,” but after seeing Fran Drescher perform in the stepmother role, she knew “Cinderella” was the right fit.

Leakes, who is currently remarried to her husband Gregg after divorcing him in 2011, will take the role over from former “The View” host Sherri Shepherd, and she’s already working to make her stepmother stand out from the pack.

“You know, I’m bringing a little NeNe,” she tells The Post. “I’m a lot bigger in my delivery than some of the past stepmoms, [and] I’m probably more dramatic. I’ve been a ‘Housewife’ for forever, so…”

She trails off — the drama of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” speaks for itself.

The seventh season of the series — which airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. and broke the record two weeks ago for Bravo’s highest-rated season premiere ever, with 3.8 million viewers — will follow Leakes on her road to Broadway.

They’re still filming, and the season will wrap with her first bow on the Great White Way.
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