Tony & Grammy Winner Jennifer Holliday Joins Broadway’s The Color Purple

Beginning performances Tuesday, October 4, Tony and Grammy Award winner JENNIFER HOLLIDAY will assume the role of Shug Avery in John Doyle’s Tony Award-winning production of the Broadway musical, THE COLOR PURPLE. HEATHER HEADLEY, who is currently performing the role, will give her final performance on Sunday, October 2.

“I was deeply moved by this truly uplifting production of THE COLOR PURPLE and I am highly honored and absolutely thrilled to be joining this extraordinary cast,” said Holliday. “Nothing compares to performing before a Broadway audience and I can’t wait to return to the Broadway stage, where I started my career over 35 years ago.

“There is a rich and significant legacy to the line of women who have been part of THE COLOR PURPLE, and I am very honored and excited to work with another major actress as she assumes one of its iconic roles,” said Tony-winning director John Doyle.  “I am very taken with Ms. Holliday’s approach to the character of Shug and I look forward to sharing how her integrity and experience will enrich this production of THE COLOR PURPLE.”

JENNIFER HOLLIDAY catapulted to stardom 35 years ago in the smash Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, with her show-stopping performance as Effie “Melody” White, the iconic role which garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in A Musical. She was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by Broadway dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded and guided her to New York, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll’s Your Arms Too Short To Box With God as a featured soloist. Beyond Broadway, Ms. Holliday appeared as cast regular Lisa Knowles on the quirky Fox TV hit show, Ally McBeal. She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning her first Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her torch-ballad signature song, “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going,” Most recently, Ms. Holliday received rave reviews and top soul-music charts recognition for her latest CD, The Song Is You.

THE COLOR PURPLE opened to rapturous reviews on December 10th at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th street), under the direction of Tony Award winner John Doyle.

The production stars Tony Award winner CYNTHIA ERIVO in “a performance big enough to play in the Grand Canyon” (Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal) and the “powerhouse” (Linda Winer, Newsday) Tony-nominated DANIELLE BROOKS, who “shakes the house in a thrilling Broadway debut” (Marilyn Stasio, Variety).
THE COLOR PURPLE received Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Cynthia Erivo). The production also received nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Danielle Brooks), and Best Direction of a Musical (John Doyle).

The company of THE COLOR PURPLE also includes Isaiah Johnson, Joaquina Kalukango, Kyle Scatliffe, Phoenix Best, Dwayne Clark, Lawrence Clayton, Carrie Compere, Patrice Covington, J. Daughtry, Adrianna Hicks, Bre Jackson, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevin Mambo, Ken Robinson, Antoine L. Smith, Carla R. Stewart, Akron Watson, and Rema Webb.

THE COLOR PURPLE has scenic design by John Doyle, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Gregory Clarke, and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. THE COLOR PURPLE features music supervision by Catherine Jayes and Music Direction by Jason Michael Webb.  Casting by Telsey + Company/Justin Huff, CSA.
The new Broadway cast recording released by Broadway Records is now available on and The album is produced by six-time Grammy Award winner Frank Filipetti.
Tickets for THE COLOR PURPLE, which start at $59, are currently on sale through
CYNTHIA ERIVO is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

For more information, photos, and videos of the production please visit


Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel and the Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment motion picture, THE COLOR PURPLE is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda RussellAllee Willis and Stephen Bray.
THE COLOR PURPLE is an unforgettable story of enduring love and triumph over adversity. With a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, this stirring family chronicle follows the inspirational Celie, as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life.


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