The Jennifer Hudson-starring revival of The Color Purple coming to Broadway has cast its Celie. Cynthia Erivo, who played Celie in the production at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, will return to the role.
Hudson will make her Broadway debut as Shug Avery in John Doyle’s reworked production, which ran in London in 2013. The musical originally debuted on Broadway in 2005.
“Celie is the heart of The Color Purple and Cynthia Erivo, an astonishingly talented young actress who will be making her Broadway debut, is thrilling in the role,” producer Scott Sanders said in a statement. “She breaks the audience’s heart and heals it by the show’s finale, all while blowing the roof off the theatre with her remarkable voice.” In reviewing the production in London, the New York Times’ Ben Brantley wrote that “one of the particular joys of this ‘Color Purple’ is hearing Ms. Erivo’s Celie learn to sing. By the end, she’s perfectly capable of delivering an all-out showstopper. But she had to earn the right to do so.”
The revival starts performance at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre Nov. 9 and is scheduled to open Dec. 3.