LaChanze

Also Credited As: R. Lachanze Sapp, LaChanze

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LaChanze BIO

LaChanze's first summer job was as a tap dancer in the ensemble of Uptown... It's Hot! at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The show opened on Broadway in January 1986, where LaChanze began her professional career in the theater.
LaChanze played the role of "Ti Moune" in the Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical Once on This Island in 1990 and received nominations for the Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Musical. She was a replacement "Sarah" in the Ahrens and Flaherty and Terrence McNally Broadway musical Ragtime, starting in December 1998. She played the role of "Viveca" in the Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway production of the musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, which opened in June 2000. She received a Drama Desk nomination, Actress (Musical), for her performance. LaChanze participated in an Actors Fund of America benefit concert of Funny Girl, with many performers portraying the character of "Fanny Brice", in September 2002.
In 2005 she played a runaway slave in the Ahrens and Flaherty musical Dessa Rose. The musical opened Off-Broadway at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in March 2005. LaChanze received an Obie Award for Performance for Dessa Rose. LaChanze appeared as "Celie" in the Broadway musical The Color Purple, from its opening in 2005 to November 2006. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for this performance.
In September 2008 she participated in the Boston Pops concert, Handel's Messiah Rocks at Emerson College. The performance was filmed by Public Broadcasting Service. She was in the Off-Broadway production of Inked Baby, written by Christina Anderson, which opened in March 2009 at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater. In June and July 2009, she played the role of "Glinda" in the City Center Encores! staged Summer Stars concert production of The Wiz.
She published her first picture book, Little Diva, in 2010. She was in the Broadway production of If/Then in 2014, starring as Kate. In 2018, she was in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Broadway, playing Diva Donna/Mary Gaines. She is currently in A Christmas Carol on Broadway, starring as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

LaChanze Photos

LaChanze STAGE CREDITS

[Broadway]
2021
Wiletta

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2019
Ghost of Christmas Present/Mrs. Fezziwig

[Off-Broadway]
Atlantic Theatre Company Off-Broadway World Premiere, 2019
August

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2018
Donna Summer

Mary Gaines

[San Diego, CA (Regional)]
World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse, 2017
Diva Donna

[Off-Broadway]
Encores Concert Production, 2016
Petunia Jackson

[US Tour]
First National Tour, 2015
Kate

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2014
Kate

[Off-Broadway]
2009
Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 2005
Celie

Celie

[New York]
Workshop, 2005
Celie

[Off-Broadway]
Original Off-Broadway Production, 2005
Dessa Rose

Dessa Rose

[Milburn, NJ (Regional)]
Paper Mill Production, 2004
Pam

[New York]
Reading, 2004
Performer

[New York]
Reading, 2004
Performer

[New York]
Reading, 2003
Performer

[Broadway]
Actors' Fund Concert, 2002
Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice

[Broadway]
Reunion Concert, 2002
Ti Moune

Ti Moune

[Off-Broadway]
Original Off-Broadway Production, 2000
Viveca

[Off-Broadway]
Original Off-Broadway Production, 1999
Performer [Replacement]

Performer [Replacement]

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1998
Sarah [Replacement]

[Milburn, NJ (Regional)]
Paper Mill Production, 1996
Performer

[Broadway]
Roundabout Revival, 1995
Marta

[Off-Broadway]
Encores! Concert, 1995
Chloe

[Broadway]
Broadway Transfer, 1990
Ti Moune

Ti Moune

[Off-Broadway]
1990
Ti Moune

[New York]
Reading, 1999
Performer

[Los Angeles]
Los Angeles Production, 1997
Performer

LaChanze Productions

 
[Off-Broadway, 2024]
Director
 
[Broadway, 2023]
Producing Partner
 
[Broadway, 2022]
Producer


LaChanze TV Shows

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit President Rosa Freeman, Amber, Ms. Pivik

The Cosby Show Sylvia

The Good Fight Julius's Wife

LaChanze Videos

LaChanze News


Wake Up With BroadwayWorld February 22, 2024

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is February 22, 2024 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Exclusive: Aisha Jackson is Getting Ready to Spotlight Black Excellence on Broadway

In this video, watch as Broadway's Aisha Jackson chats more about her upcoming show and gives BroadwayWorld an exclusive sneak peek of 'Being Good Isn't Good Enough' from Hallelujah, Baby!.

Video: KIMBERLY AKIMBO Producer LaChanze Performs A Song From the Tony-Winning Musical On CBS SUNDAY MORNING

Tony Award-winning performer and producer LaChanze joined CBS Sunday Morning this week to discuss her career on stage, representation of black voices behind the scenes, and stepping into her new role as a Broadway producer. As part of the segment, LaChanze performed a stripped down version of a song from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Kimberly Akimbo. Watch the video!

Video: Watch LaChanze Discuss Becoming a Broadway Producer on CBS SUNDAY MORNING

Watch LaChanze discuss her career on stage and now behind the scenes as a Broadway producer!

Photos: Go Inside Black Theatre Coalition's BUILDING THE CHANGE Gala

Just last night, the Black Theatre Coalition hosted its Inaugural BTC Gala, celebrating entertainment professionals working in theater, film, television, cultural institutions, and music. Check out photos from inside the big night here!

Video: Broadway's Biggest Stars Sing the National Anthem

BroadwayWorld is celebrating all of the Broadway performers who have sang the National Anthem at major sporting events in the past, including Idina Menzel's performance at Super Bowl XLIX. Which version is your favorite? Watch all the videos here!

EL COLOR PÚRPURA llega a los cines este viernes

Este viernes 9 de febrero llega a cines de toda España EL COLOR PÚRPURA, película dirigida por Sam Blitz Bazawe y producida por Oprah Winfrey que adapta el musical de Broadway basado en la novela de Alice Walker.

Photos: Go Inside Opening Night of Roundabout's JONAH

Roundabout Theatre Company just celebrated opening night of the world premiere of Jonah by Rachel Bonds, directed by Danya Taymor. Jonah will play through March 10, 2024 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. BroadwayWorld was there for opening night and you can check out photos here

GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL Will Release a Cast Recording This Spring; Recoups Investment

Gutenberg! The Musical! will release a cast recording! After taking their final bows on the stage of the Jones Theatre, Josh Gad  and Andrew Rannells step into the studio to record the upcoming Original Broadway Cast Album. The album will be released this spring on Center Stage Records and Yellow Sound Label.

Interview: Arielle Crosby of THE COLOR PURPLE at The Garden Theatre

When she was studying vocal performance with an emphasis on operatic singing at Kentucky State University, Arielle Crosby discovered opera was not the only thing she could do well.

GALA Theatre Presents THE PALACIOS SISTERS LAS HERMANAS PALACIOS

GALA Hispanic Theatre will present the WORLD PREMIERE of The Palacios Sisters (Las Hermanas Palacios) co-conceived by Cuban American director Adrián Alea and Cuban American playwright Cristina García from February 1 to 25, 2024.

Video: Stars Come Out to Celebrate Opening Night of PRAYER FOR THE FRENCH REPUBLIC

BroadwayWorld was on the red carpet for opening night of Prayer for the French Republic to chat with special guests including Mare Winningham, LaChanze, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Donna Murphy, and more! Watch all of the interview in this video.

Renée Elise Goldsberry Comes to Popejoy Hall in February

 Renée Elise Goldsberry will perform on Popejoy Hall's stage on February 24, 2024 at 7:30pm, presenting an evening of songs and storytelling for all audiences. 

Photos: Stars Turn Out For Opening Night of PRAYER FOR THE FRENCH REPUBLIC

The Manhattan Theatre Club production of Prayer for the French Republic has officially opened on Broadway! The play opened last night, January 9, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. BroadwayWorld is taking you on the red carpet at the production's opening with Donna Murphy, Tyne Daly, LaChanze and more. Check out photos below!

KIMBERLY AKIMBO Announces Closing Date

KIMBERLY AKIMBO, winner of the 2023 Tony Award for Best Musical, has announced its final Broadway performance and we have all the details.

Feature: 54 Below - The Basement Where You Want To Be

The Tony Award winning non-profit is here to grow, to achieve, and to change the face of cabaret and concert.

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld December 28th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is December 28, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

LaChanze Speaks Up About THE COLOR PURPLE Royalties For 'I'm Here'; Says She 'Was a Huge Part at Writing' the Song

LaChanze is speaking up about the mark she made on The Color Purple musical. The actress and producer, who won a Tony Award for playing the role of Celie in the original Broadway production, states that she added lyrics to 'I'm Here.'

LaChanze FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

LaChanze has appeared on Broadway in 10 shows.

LaChanze has not appeared in the West End.

LaChanze has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. These include Distinguished Performance Awards (Drama League Awards) for her role in "Trouble in Mind," Outstanding Actress in a Play (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for the same production, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (Tony Awards) for "Trouble in Mind." She was also nominated for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Drama Desk Awards) for "The Secret Life of Bees," Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for the same production, and Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Drama Desk Awards) for "Summer." LaChanze received a Distinguished Performance Award (Drama League Awards) for "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Tony Awards) for the same show. Additionally, she was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (BroadwayWorld Awards) for "If/Then," Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for "The Color Purple," and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Tony Awards) for "The Color Purple." Other nominations include Performance (Obie Awards) for "Dessa Rose," Outstanding Actress - Musical (Drama Desk Awards) for "The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin," Performance (Theatre World Awards) for "Once on This Island," and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Tony Awards) for "Once on this Island."

LaChanze has won several awards throughout her career. She won the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical award from the Outer Critics Circle Awards for her role in "The Secret Life of Bees." She also received the Best Featured Actress in a Musical award from the BroadwayWorld Awards for her performance in "If/Then." LaChanze's portrayal of Celie in "The Color Purple" earned her the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical award at the Tony Awards. She also received a Performance award from the Obie Awards for her work in "Dessa Rose." Additionally, LaChanze was honored with the Outstanding Actress - Musical award at the Drama Desk Awards for her role in "The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin." She was recognized with a Performance award from the Theatre World Awards for her performance in "Once on This Island."

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