Jennifer Hudson is making her Broadway debut this fall in a revival of the Color Purple, playing the role of Shug Avery.
“I’ve read the book, I’ve seen the film and I loved the original production on Broadway!” Hudson” told Entertainment Weekly.
The American Idol season 3 alum calls Alice Walker’s story “a timeless piece of American culture. The story holds a special place in my heart because, in part, it’s so honest. All of the characters are true to who they are. Each individual is an integral part of the message and it brings a complex emotion that sticks with the audience.”
Jennifer is “very nervous” about her first role on the Great White Way, but she uses the anxiety to fuel her performances.
“I try to feel the butterflies before any big performance as much as I can,” she said. “That sensation makes me feel alive and it keeps me on my toes. For me, nerves have always been a good thing, they make the experience exciting.”
The stripped down version of the Color Purple begins previews Nov. 10 with opening night is set for Dec. 10 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.
Jennifer isn’t the only American Idol alum to star in the Broadway musical. In 2007, Season 3 winner, Fantasia, took over the lead role, Celie, while fellow season 3 alum, Latoya London, played Celie’s sister, Nettie, in the touring production.
Here’s a preview, with Jennifer and and costar Cynthia Erivo, who plays Celie, singing the title song, “The Color Purple.” The clip features the pair in the recording studio, along with clips from the production.