Special Guest

LaChanze
Tony and Emmy Award-Winning Artist

With a career that has spanned thirty-one Broadway seasons, LaChanze consistently brings women of complexity and triumph into the cultural lexicon.

LaChanze won a Tony Award for her performance as Celie in The Color Purple, originated the role of Ti Moune in Once on This Island (Tony Award nomination), and upheld her commitment to artistic excellence this past season as Wiletta in Alice Childress’ historic play, Trouble In Mind (Tony Award nomination). Other notable stage performances include roles in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Tony Award nomination), A Christmas Carol, The Secret Life of Bees, If/Then, The Wiz, Ragtime, Uptown… It’s Hot!, and Dreamgirls.

On screen, she has delivered memorable roles in both TV and film including: Handel’s Messiah Rocks: A Joyful Noise (Emmy Award), The Blacklist, Melinda, The Help, HBO’s The Night Of, Law & Order: SVU, The Good Fight, Sex And The City, and Disney animated feature film Hercules among other titles.

This season, LaChanze serves as producer both on the 20th anniversary revival of Suzan-Lori Parks’ acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize-Winning play, Topdog/Underdog, as well as Kimberly Akimbo, a new musical by Tony Award Winning Composer Jeanine Tesori and Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire.

She is the Vice President of Black Theatre United, a community of creatives dedicated to awareness, accountability, and advocacy. Proud mother of Celia Rose and Zaya LaChanze, she resides in Westchester, New York with her three cats and gardening hats.