London Star of ‘Color Purple’ Musical Will Play Broadway with Jennifer Hudson

Cynthia Erivo, the London stage veteran who’s appeared in musicals there including “The Umbrella of Cherbourg” and “I Can’t Sing,” will reprise the starring role of Celie in “The Color Purple” in the show’s Broadway revival, opening later this year with Jennifer Hudson in the cast.

Erivo will portray the protagonist in the musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” the 2005 musical that earned raves in London in a stripped-down production that originated at Menier Chocolate Factory. Hudson, joining the cast for Broadway, will play blues singer Shug Avery.

Erivo’s other credits includes the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female “Henry IV” and the U.K. tour of “Sister Act.” Also a songwriter, she penned the tune “Fly Before You Fall” for the movie “Beyond the Lights.”

John Doyle, helmer of the upcoming Broadway musical “The Visit,” is both director and designer of “The Color Purple” in a production that has nailed down a spot at the Jacobs Theater, where comedy “It’s Only a Play” is currently set to run through June 7. “Color Purple” begins previews Nov. 9 ahead of a Dec. 3 opening.

Scott Sanders, Roy Furman, Oprah Winfrey, David Babani and Tom Siracusa are producing the revival. Sanders, Furman and Winfrey were all on board the prior Broadway incarnation, joined here by the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Babani and Siracusa.

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