Academy award winning actress, Jennifer Hudson, will make her Broadway debut as Shug Avery in The Color Purple. The show’s producers, Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, and Roy Furman made the official statement yesterday. Hudson used social media to make her announcement, “So excited to make my Broadway debut this fall as Shrug Avery in the revival of #TheColorPurple.” Further casting has yet to be announced, although reports indicate Winfrey and Sanders are in talks with Cynthia Erivo to play the role of Celie.
In 2008, the role of Celie was played by American Idol winner, Fantasia. The Color Purple is a Broadway musical based on the novel by Alice Walker. The musical has been on Broadway since 2005. The production has grossed over $103 million dollars to date. The Color Purple is about the life of African American women living in the southern United States in the 1930s. The book “addresses numerous issues, including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.” The novel won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1985, The Color Purple was adapted into a film. The Steven Spielberg film starred Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Whoopi Goldberg. The film made over $142 million at the box office, and was named “the year’s best film” by Roger Ebert.
Jennifer Hudson has appeared in a number of films; including Dreamgirls, Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees, and Winnie Mandela in 2013. Her debut breakout performance in Dreamgirls won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Hudson also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. As a recording artist, Hudson has released three studio albums; Jennifer Hudson in 2008, I Remember Me in 2011, and the 2014 album JHUD. Her self-titled album, Jennifer Hudson, won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. The new production of The Color Purple musical comes from London after it ran at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2013. Director John Doyle has received rave reviews from critics, “John Doyle has made an honest musical out of The Color Purple.” Doyle is most known for his productions of Sweeney Todd and Company.