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Cynthia Erivo Will Join Jennifer Hudson In The Color Purple This Fall

The return of The Color Purple has been all the rave, especially since Oprah called Jennifer Hudson and asked her to play Shug Avery in the upcoming revival of the Tony Award winning musical. Then we thought, Is Oprah going to call Fantasia to reprise the role of Celie? Or would that be too much star power on one stage?

We boggled our minds with the though of would play the dynamic role of Celie originated by the amazing LaChanze, who won her Leading Actress in Musical Tony Award for the role. Well, it seems we can now exhale. The new Broadway production will star London’s own Cynitha Erivo, who wow’d audiences and critics in her 2013 performance of Celie in London’s production of The Color Purple.

Erivo will be making her Broadway debut. Her additional stage credits include Henry IV, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Sister Act, I Can’t Sing and Dessa Rose. The musical will begin performances on November 9 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and officially open on December 3.

The Color Purple features a book by Marsha Norman, lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and music by Russell and Willis. Based on the novel by Alice Walker, the tuner tells the story of Celie, a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discovers her voice in the world.

Now, this will be a different version of The Color Purple than you’re used to. The stripped down version which features new staging cuts approximately 30 minutes of material from the original production. This is bound to be fresh as well as refreshing! Listen to Erivo speak of the show below and just listen to that voice!


This unforgettable and intensely moving new production mesmerized audiences when it premiered in London, where critics hailed it as “a revelation” (Mark Shenton, The Stage). Now this American classic comes to Broadway with a powerhouse cast including the celebrated London star CYNTHIA ERIVO, who will recreate her electrifying performance as Celie. With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story. Don’t miss JENNIFER HUDSON in her history-making performance as the sultry Shug Avery in one of our most powerful and inspirational tales.

Written By

Drew Shade is a theatre artist and enthusiast who fosters artistic diversity and excellence for the love of Black theatre artists. He is the Founder/Creative Director of Broadway Black, Off-Book Podcast & The Antonyo Awards. “Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.” – August Wilson


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