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In celebration of the recent news about Keke Palmer being cast as the first black Cinderella, Pippin’s Ariana DeBose and Benjamin Rauhala sat down with Playbill to discuss the importance of casting actors for roles outside of a particular “type”. DeBose will be returning to 54 Below for another performance of her original show Typed Out which she gave the significance behind in her interview with Playbill:

“At its core, Typed Out is about breaking boundaries, challenging type, labels and changing the game (sprinkled with laughter), so Ben and I decided to create a playlist that celebrates individuals who in our minds are prime examples of those things.” 

Keeping in line with these concepts a playlist was created featuring actors that were cast out of the character or role’s “type” and saw great success.

The first selection was Brandy and Whitney Houston in the television adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Disney’s ambitious, multicultural depiction of the classic fairy-tale which also featured Woopi Goldberg,  aired to rave reviews and here’s one of the films greatest numbers.

The next artist on the list that broke the mold was most-celebrated TONY Award Winner Audra McDonald for her portrayal of Carrie Pipperidge in the 1994 revival of Carousel. It was in this role that McDonald won the first of her many TONY’s.

After that comes Norm Lewis (SCANDAL, Porgy & Bess) who made waves not only with his performance as Javert in Les Misérables and as King Triton in The Little Mermaid, but also as the phantom in Andrew Loyd-Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.  

There were a few more notable additions to the list, especially with regards to black performers so be sure to head over to Playbill.com for the full list and right up, and also check out Ariana DeBose at her show coming up soon at 54 Below.

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