Can you give us a memory or two of playing Teen Angel in 1994’s 'Grease'? That was hilarious with the big hair and everything like that!
I think that was the first time I started guest visiting in Broadway shows years after doing "Dreamgirls" in the early '80s. Yes, my last appearance was as Matron "Mama" Morton in 2001. Alee Willis (Grammy and Tony-award-winning co-writer of 'The Color Purple') wrote my hit "I am Love"!
So, to be able to step into some of these theater pieces for a limited time has been fun.
I absolutely adore your music catalog – starting with your 'Dreamgirls' hits and including your 1983 debut project “Feel My Soul” which included your debut song “I Am Love”......
Thirty-five years ago, on any given night, two-time Grammy-award-winning recording artist Jennifer Holliday would bring sold-out audiences of enthusiastic Broadway patrons to their feet when she’d close out Act One of the smash hit ‘Dreamgirls’.
Before 'American Idol'-bred Jennifer Hudson took home an Academy Award for playing the big screen version of Effie White, the role was created for the Broadway stage — and standing ovations — by Holliday who belted out the last line of her signature, guttural ballad “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” with a line no one has been able to mimic quite the same way since.
Can we talk about your singing voice on those beautiful songs from 'The Color Purple' – including “More Beautiful Than Words” and “What About Love?
” - written and produced by Tony and Grammy winning songwriters Alee Willis, Siedah Garrett, and Brenda Russell, all of whom came to see you Opening Night..continue to be celebrated for the show's music.
Then, later that night they said 'If Miss Holliday wants the role, we'd love to have her join us.'I love that.
It’s worth noting for our readers that you have a history with “The Color Purple” on stage.
Would love if you would come out and I can find something for you to do in the show. So, that was the original version of "The Color Purple" that we took out on the road, which is different from the current revival I'm in as Shug Avery on Broadway. You have acted for many years and you know how to BECOME your character. [SHE LAUGHS] So, I patterned my Shug Avery after the actress who played her Margaret Avery (also an Academy Awards nominee).