Color Purple: Jennifer Holliday joining Broadway revival
This time, Jennifer Holliday is following in Jennifer Hudson’s footsteps.
Tony and Grammy winner Jennifer Holliday, best known to theater fans as the iconic creator of Effie White in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, has been tapped to board the cast of the award-winning revival of The Color Purple.
She’ll play Shug Avery, a role created in this production by Hudson (who played Effie in 2006’s Dreamgirls movie) and is currently being filled by Heather Headley. Holliday will assume the part of the slinky, sultry singer who swerves the heart of neglected Celie (Tony winner Cynthia Erivo) on Oct. 4; Headley departs on Oct. 2.
Director John Doyle issued a statement on the casting: “There is a rich and significant legacy to the line of women who have been part of The Color Purple, and I am very honored and excited to work with another major actress as she assumes one of its iconic roles. I am very taken with Ms. Holliday’s approach to the character of Shug and I look forward to sharing how her integrity and experience will enrich this production of The Color Purple.”
Holliday commented, “Nothing compares to performing before a Broadway audience and I can’t wait to return to the Broadway stage, where I started my career over 35 years ago.”
The Color Purple, which opened Dec. 10 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, also stars Tony nominee Danielle Brooks in her Broadway debut as the ferocious, strong-willed Sofia.