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.
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.