On September 11, 2001 actor LaChanze lost her husband in the attack on New York City’s Twin Towers. She was eight months pregnant.
Looking at her life, she sees it as two separate identities—a very clear “Act 2” emerging after 9/11. So speaking to actor Brenda Braxton for the new Act 2...Now What?! video series was an appropos fit.
Having played roles on Broadway like Ti Moune in Once on This Island, Marta in Company, and Sarah in Ragtime prior to 2001, LaChanze says that she felt “if I never worked again, that’s fine.” But, just five weeks after her daughter was born—only a few months after the terrorist attacks—Eve Ensler offered LaChanze a job to ease her back into the business. “She said, ‘It’ll remind you why you are an artist,’ and it did,” remembers the actor.
Since then, LaChanze originated the role of Celie in the original The Color Purple (for which she won a Tony) and Kate in If/Then, proving there is much to come in an Act 2. “If we took the number out [age], internally and spiritually, we just like we’ve grown. We’re going forward.”
To celebrate women’s history month, Playbill features the series with the Tony-winning actor. Check back on Playbill.com for more of these exclusive videos, featuring interviews with the likes of Bebe Neuwirth, and more!
Visit Braxton at BrendaBraxton.com for more women over 50 Act 2…Now What?! shenanigans.