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When LaChanze, a twenty-year Broadway veteran who recently starred in Lincoln Center’s Dessa Rose, heard about a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, she knew immediately that she wanted to play Celie. “There’s a strength in her vulnerability that I identify with.” She read the book compulsively for clues to the character, even consulting the author herself for tips. As with any stage adaptation, comparisons are bound to arise—in this case, with Whoopi Goldberg’s portrayal in the film. Luckily, LaChanze is too busy to care. “I have two small children, and we just bought a new house,” says the actress, who was widowed when her first husband died on 9/11, and who recently remarried. “All I can do is focus on doing the best that I can as Celie, and making sure that my girls get as much mommy as they can.”

The Color Purple
Directed by Gary Griffin
Broadway Theatre
Opens December 1


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