LaChanze, best known for her Tony Award-winning role as “Celie” in The Color Purple was recently featured in “Broadway Legacy,” a photographic and “online historical catalogue of art and information, celebrating African American theatre.” Broadway Legacy is the brainchild of actor Christian Dante White and celebrity photographer Brent Dundore.
LaChanze! made her Broadway debut as part of the ensemble in Uptown…It’s Hot! in 1986. She’s also appeared in the musical Once on This Island in 1990 in which she played the role of “Ti Moune.” She received nominations for the Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Her other Broadway credits include the 1987 revival of Dreamgirls, Ragtime, and 2014’s If/Then.
As part of her feature on Broadway Legacy, LaChanze also lists her inspirations, “Cicely Tyson for her vulnerability. Alfre Woodard for her honesty. Lola Falana for her confidence. Diana Ross for her business savvy.”
Every other week, Broadway Legacy focuses on a different individual’s accomplishments and inspirations. The series features Broadway veterans such as Chuck Cooper who won a Tony for The Life, Tony nominee Charl Brown, Derrick Baskin, best known for his role of “Comfort Counselor Mitch Mahoney” in the popular Broadway show, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Ben Harney, who won the 1982 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his role as “Curtis Taylor, Jr.” Dreamgirls.
White, who made his Broadway debut in the original production of The Scottsboro Boys created Broadway Legacy to feature men who not only are fiercely talented but also inspiring to each other and others. His goal was to not only show appreciation for their remarkable contributions to entertainment but for these men to be recognized in a high fashion setting and to be presented by an outlet that reaches masses so they can be enlightened and educated. White recently added Broadway Legacy 2.0 and LaChanze! is the first woman to be featured in the section.
Check out all the photos and more info on BroadwayLegacy.com
Wait, What?! Daveed Diggs To Exit Hamilton
Tony Award winner and best hair on Broadway, Daveed Diggs will make his final appearance in the smash hit musical Hamilton: An American Musical this Friday, July 15! Diggs won the 2016 Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his role as both Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. No official recasting has taken place for the part, so understudies Andrew Chappelle, Austin Smith, and Seth Stewart will be stepping up to the plate until then.
Hamilton also announced new casting for the Broadway stage earlier this month; bringing on new leads Brandon Victor Dixon, Lexi Lawson, and Michael Luwoye.
The hit musical won 11 total Tony Awards this year, including best musical, direction of a musical (Thomas Kail), best actor in a musical (Leslie Odom Jr.), best score (Lin-Manuel Miranda), best book of a musical (Lin-Manuel Miranda), best featured actor in a musical (Daveed Diggs), and best featured actress in a musical (Renée Elise Goldsberry).
It also won a record number of technical awards including best orchestrations (Alex Lacamoire), best costume design (Paul Tazewell), best choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler), and best lighting design (Howell Binkley).
You know Broadway Black will keep you posted on these casting changes as they come! We can’t wait to see who’s next!
X-Factor’s Leona Lewis Will Prowl Broadway in Cats
After days of speculation, Cats has finally found its glamour cat Grizabella in Leona Lewis, the season 3 winner of “The X-Factor” in the UK, as confirmed by The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization. This will mark her Broadway debut.
Hailing from Britain, Lewis has won one Bambi Award, an MTV Video Music Award, and three World Music Awards, and has sold over 20-million records worldwide. She’s also a three-time Grammy Award and seven-time BRIT Award nominee. In 2014, she appeared in the jukebox musical film “Walking on Sunshine.”
Based on T.S. Elliot’s “Book of Practical Cats,” through song, dance, and poetry, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical, which once held the record for the longest-running musical on Broadway, follows a tribe of felines at their annual Jellicle Ball, where one cat is chosen to be reborn into a new life in the Heaviside Layer.
Quentin Earl Darrington joins Lewis & will return to Broadway as the lovable, wise patriarch Old Deuteronomy, the role originated on Broadway by Ken Page. Darrington made his Broadway debut as the tragic piano player Coalhouse Walker, Jr., in the 2009 production of Ragtime, coincidentally at the Neil Simon Theatre, where Cats will begin previews on July 14th, before opening on July 31st.
This will mark the first time the Tony-winning musical has been revived on Broadway after a two-year run at the London Palladium, which saw Beverly Knight and Nicole Scherzinger in the iconic role of the faded glamour cat who longs for acceptance back into the tribe.
Joining Lewis and Darrington will be Shonica Gooden (Rumpleteazer), Ahmad Simmons (Alonzo) Sharrod Williams (Pouncival), Giuseppe Bausilio (Carbucketty), Jeremy Davis (Skimbleshanks), Kim Faure (Demeter), Sara Jean Ford (Jellylorum), Lili Froehlich (Electra), Daniel Gaymon (Macavity), Christopher Gurr (Gus/Bustopher Jones), Tyler Hanes (Rum Tum Tugger), Andy Huntington Jones (Munkustrap), Kolton Krouse (Tumblebrutus), Eloise Kropp (Jennyanydots / Gumbie), Jess LeProtto (Mungojerrie), Georgina Pazcoguin (Victoria), Emily Pynenburg (Cassandra), Arianna Rosario (Sillabub), Christine Cornish Smith (Bombalurina), Corey Snide (Coricopat), Emily Tate (Tantomile), and Ricky Ubeda (Mistoffelees) with Richard Todd Adams, Aaron Albano, Callan Bergmann, Claire Camp, Francesca Granell, Jessica Hendy, Harris Milgrim, Madison Mitchell, Nathan Patrick Morgan and Megan Ort.
For tickets, visit Cats on Broadway.