Review: CYNTHIA ERIVO & FRIENDS at Kennedy Center

This production ran on October 6th.

By: Dec. 10, 2023
Review: CYNTHIA ERIVO & FRIENDS at Kennedy Center
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This past Wednesday, renowned singer and actress, Cynthia Erivo, paid a visit to the Kennedy Center with Theater Camp’s Ben Platt and Paradise Square’s Joaquina Kalukango to give an unforgettable performance in Cynthia Erivo & Friends. For one night only, we were given the opportunity to witness immense talent and celebrate the joy of music and friendship.

Erivo, most known for her role as Celie in Broadway’s The Color Purple and soon-to-be Elphaba in Jon Chu’s film adaptation of Wicked, is no stranger to the stage. She is simply one of the most talented vocalists of this generation. She completely dazzles throughout this performance in a multitude of ways (including her fabulous outfits). Not only does she have an immaculate voice, she also has a beautiful way in which she tells a story through each song she sings. Just before each song began, you could see her transport into the music and embody each raw emotion that came with the piece. Watching Erivo perform is like a masterclass of perfection. Each note had the right clarity, correct placement, amazing tone, and overall flawless delivery. 

Review: CYNTHIA ERIVO & FRIENDS at Kennedy Center
Ben Platt by Jennifer Broski.

Cynthia Erivo is not only an amazing performer, but also an amazing friend. She expressed how honored and proud she was to have her friends Platt and Kalukango perform with her. This was not just her concert, but a concert to celebrate those who have been with her throughout her journey to stardom. Erivo told stories about her time spent with the two performers during her run in The Color Purple with Platt across the street in Dear Evan Hansen, and Kalukango beside her as her sister Nettie. She truly cares about those around her and was so grateful to have them with her. She also gives thanks to her band and background singers who made this concert possible, saying they are all her friends as well.

Review: CYNTHIA ERIVO & FRIENDS at Kennedy Center
Joaquina Kalukango by Jennifer Broski.

Being able to see such talent and kindness come from a star such as Erivo always makes the experience even better than you could have imagined it to be. Watching one of your idols be as amazing as you had hoped in all aspects is something not everyone is able to witness, but in this case, I was lucky enough for that dream to become a reality. This performance was truly one of the best that I have ever seen and it was a heartwarming experience for everyone in the theater. As for those that did not get to see this astounding performance in the theater, it will be available for viewing on PBS’s “Next at the Kennedy Center” on Sunday, December 31st from 8–9pm EST. You will not want to miss it!

Running time: 70 minutes without intermission

Cynthia Erivo & Friends was a limited engagement on December 6th, 2023 at the Kennedy Center, located at 2700 F St., NW, Washington, DC 20566 in the Eisenhower Theater.


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