It was thrilling to see LaChanze in The Color Purple. Prior to seeing that show, I had only been familiar with her for her duets on Matt Bogart’s solo album, but seeing her in person was even better.
Celie must be such a challenging role to take on night after night. First of all, her journey has got to be such a difficult one to live eight shows a week for a year, but then there’s such difficult music to sing as well.
I was simply in awe of her performance. She created this child character and presented her so convincingly in all her ages and all of her emotional stages. There were many emotional points centered on Celie in The Color Purple, but the highlight for me was her powerful and delicate “I’m Here,” which sent chills up and down my spine. I love revisiting that performance on the OBCR.
I also admire her because LaChanze is a beautiful woman, but she managed to physically create an ugly Celie who radiated beauty. Without prosthetics, a beautiful person is always a beautiful person, but LaChanze acted Celie’s appearance so that you actually believed that Celie was ugly. But she created such an endearing character, you felt her beauty. That’s amazing to me.
the Broadway Mouth
September 12, 2007