The “Orange Is The New Black” star Danielle Brooks, who plays Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on the hit Netflix series, will join the the Broadway revival of The Color Purple. She will make her Broadway debut as Sofia, alongside Jennifer Hudson as Shug Avery and Cynthia Erivo as Celie.
She takes on the role originally played by Oprah Winfrey in the film version. Ms. Winfrey is also on board to produce this production, as she did with the original in 2005. Felicia P. Fields originated the Broadway musical Sofia.
Brooks is a Juilliard graduate and credits the original production of The Color Purple as the first Broadway show she ever saw and helped her realize she really wanted to pursue acting as a career, Variety reported.
The novel, which takes the form of letters written by Celie to God, also had an influence on her: “When I write in my journal now, I always start with ‘Dear God,’” she said with a laugh.
She will allegedly be filming the 4th season of “Orange Is The New Black” while on Broadway this fall. Previews of The Color Purple will begin November 9th with an opening night set for Dec. 3rd at the Jacobs Theatre
This new trimmed down version of The Color Purple has been all the rave since it appeared at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. It travels over to the U.S. with the same star, Cynthia Erivo, and director John Doyle. The Color Purple is a Broadway musical based upon the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker. It features music and lyrics written by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, with a book by Marsha Norman.
This is casting done right and we are so happy for Danielle Brooks. What an amazing role to have as your Broadway debut. Congrats! #YouAreBroadwayBlack #WeAreBroadwayBlack
Tickets go on sale to the public July 2nd. Find out more information on the website for the revival www.colorpurple.com
Didn’t know Danielle could sing? Well check out her vocals on this cover of Iris by Goo Goo Dolls she did with her friend and actor Jeremy Pope (Choir Pope) . It’s beyond beautiful.
What an amazing role to have as your Broadway debut. Congrats, Danielle!
Cynthia Erivo Nominated for BAFTA’s Rising Star Award
Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo, known for her transformative performance as Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple is now one of five actors nominated for the British Academy of Film’s 2019 Rising Star Awards.
Most recently seen alongside Viola Davis in Steve McQueen’s Widows, Erivo says:
“I’m ever grateful to BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award. It means the world to me to be acknowledged by the community that, for most of my life, I’ve known as home. Thank you for this incredible honour.” – Cynthia Erivo
The BAFTA Awards will take place on February 10th.
Get Your War Clothes On: Billy Porter Energizes in GLAAD Acceptance Speech
So, I have a question.
In the same line of thought as “innocent until proven guilty,” do we grant the assumption of positive intent in our expectations of our brothers and sister in regards to woke-ness, à la woke until proven problematic?
Now don’t get me wrong, there was no doubt in my heart that Tony and Grammy Award-winner, Billy Porter, was woke. Nope, none. What I wasn’t ready for, was the way he fixed his fingers to pen one of the greatest acceptance speeches of my lifetime, and how he turned the Gospel classic “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired” into a battle song.
The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards honored Billy Porter with the Vito Russo Award, presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.
He started by affirming the room full of members of marginalized communities, with my personal daily mantra: “You are enough. we are enough.”
Since the beginning of time artists are the folks who engage critically and encourage those who think they are powerless to question the status quo.
Brothers and sisters across the room leaned in.
The days of shut up and sing are over.
Alliteration informed and illustrated as Porter preached on remaining “vigilantly visual” as we tell our stories. Acknowledging the reality of our times, he spoke on Number 45:
Where they slipped up this time is in that declaration of war. It’s not only against Black and Brown people and Queer people anymore, it’s against ALL of us. And as a result, the good news is: white folk, and straight folk, and all those fierce women folk, are mad now. And NOW maybe something might get done!
Get. Your. War. Clothes. On.
From slavery to emancipation, to the 13th Amendment, to Jim Crow, to the Civil Rights Movement. From Stonewall to AIDS, to marriage equality— we gotta remember the shoulders who we stand on—the ones who fought and died for those freedoms that we hold so dear. Let’s use these historical strides we’ve made as a nation to empower us as warriors on this battlefield of equality.
Until we can figure out how to love one another unconditionally, no one wins. Freedom. Equality. Justice. Have always come at a cost and evidently the always will.
If that’s not the truth.
Stay strong. Stay vigilante. Stay visible. Stay hopeful. Stay focused. Be brave. Be fierce.
For a full list of this year’s winners, honorees, and guests, visit GLAAD.