Breakout London Star Cynthia Erivo Wins Plum Lead in Broadway Color Purple Revival

News   Breakout London Star Cynthia Erivo Wins Plum Lead in Broadway Color Purple Revival
 
Cynthia Erivo, who earned raves from U.K. and American critics for her performance in the plum lead role of Celie in the 2013 London production of The Color Purple, has been tapped to recreate her performance in the fall 2015 Broadway revival of the musical.

She will join Grammy, Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award winner Jennifer Hudson in her Broadway debut as Shug Avery. That role was originated on Broadway by Tony Award nominee Elizabeth Withers-Mendes.

The production begins previews Nov. 9 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Opening night is set for Dec. 10.

This pared-down revival was first seen at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, directed and designed by Tony winner John Doyle, who will also recreate that production on Broadway.  The London staging also featured musical supervision by Catherine Jayes, choreography by Ann Yee, costumes by Matthew Wright, lighting by Jane Cox and sound by Gregory Clarke.

The musical was adapted for the stage by Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

LaChanze created the lead role of Celie — the young woman who learns how to love others, and more importantly, herself — in Broadway's The Color Purple. The Broadway favorite earned a Tony Award for her work. She was succeeded in the role by "American Idol" winner Fantasia, who drew raves for her performance.

Following a world premiere engagement at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in 2004, The Color Purple arrived on Broadway, earning 11 2006 Tony nominations, including one for Best Musical. It played its final performance on Broadway Feb. 24, 2008.

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