With the end of her talk-show nearing (like, really nearing, as in the final episode airs next week), Oprah’s been talking up her future, which apparently includes starring on the Great White Way. It all started during an interview with Chris Rock about The Motherf—ker With the Hat, when Rock’s turn on the boards inspired Oprah to tell him that stage acting was her “dream” and “the one thing she wanted to do.” Then she admitted to the Chicago Tribune that not only had she already met with Broadway producers, but that she also almost appeared in last year’s Fences revival (which earned Denzel Washington his first Tony).
Oprah’s no Broadway newbie — she earned her own Tony nomination in 2006 for producing The Color Purple. And she apparently knows her stage: She’s spearheading the HBO adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s Ruined, an incredible drama about women in the Congo. Ruined is also the work most theater lovers think (and hope) she’ll chose to mount on Broadway — because she may be the only person with the power to get it there.
But Ruined isn’t the only play out there for O. Besides any new piece by an upcoming playwright she wants to champion, there has to be scores of productions just waiting to be revived with Oprah in the starring seat. Ideas we’ve been bandying about PopWatch headquarters include Medea, Mame, and Applause, but there are just so many questions: Can Oprah handle Shakespeare? Can Oprah sing?
So help us come up with more ideas. What Broadway play do you think Oprah should star in?