Happy June, friends! I’m following up Motivation Monday with another installment of Woman Crush Wednesday, and this one goes to the fabulous Cynthia Erivo, who has become a breakout star in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple. So much so that she’s earned her first Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical (and won a couple awards for it too). What that means is that you should probably be paying attention to her. She’s out of this world. And here are just a few reasons why:
The Color Purple
Let’s start with her current job, shall we? Cynthia plays Celie, the main character of The Color Purple (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie). If you’ve never seen the musical, just know it’s V emotional, and Cynthia recently performed one of the most heart-wrenching numbers in the show called I’m Here on Stephen Colbert. You should probably grab some tissues before clicking play on this one.
Cynthia is part of an amazing cast which includes Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black) and Jennifer Hudson (who’s since left), so when the holy trinity and the rest of the stellar cast took the stage the night Prince died, it was only fitting for a show titled The Color Purple sing Purple Rain in the best way they knew how. Take ’em to church, fam.
Speaking of Jennifer Hudson… I don’t think you’re allowed to become a Broadway diva or true belter if you don’t sing your own version of And I Am Telling You from Dreamgirls. This was pre-The Color Purple on Broadway (Cynthia played Celie in the 2013 production of the show), but months later, she was sharing the stage with the same woman who won an Oscar for this role in the movie. And now they’re besties (just watch this tribute song to Jennifer for her last show). It’s cute. This video, however – is fierce.
Following in Whoopi’s Footsteps
Although she’s been an actress/singer for years, her big break didn’t come until 2011, when she played Delores VanCartier/Sister Mary Clarence in the UK tour of the Sister Act musical. If you’re thinking a Sister Act musical would be no bueno, I assure you it’s more entertaining than you think, and the score is delightfully delightful. Just like the movie, Delores is the main character of the story, and in the musical, her songs are infused with a lot of gospel-tinged tracks. Like this finale number which looks ridic out of context but is better in the show itself. Cynthia werks those runs like no one’s business.
She’s Superwoman, It’s Fine
If you go through Cynthia’s Instagram, the ratio of gym to regular pix is like 4 to 1. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s #goals. Woman is not messing around. Her tickets to the gun show sell out faster than to The Color Purple. She recently ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. And then went off for a two show day. SHE RAN 12.1 MILES THEN SANG AND DANCED AND ACTED FOR TWO SHOWS WHAT EVEN. I can’t even run a single mile then be expected to work at a desk for the rest of the day my GOD.
She’ll Out Sing You At A Bar
Just once I’d like to be in a bar where Cynthia Erivo decides to randomly belt out a tune in front of all the people. Here she is singing a song from one of my favorite shows, The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown. JRB’s music isn’t the easiest to sing, but she makes it seem like she’s effortlessly belting the ABCs or something. For you JRB-heads out there, Cynthia was also in another one of his shows, Songs for a New World, along with her boyfriend Dean John-Wilson (who is legit Aladdin. in London).
If you weren’t left impressed with the Jason Robert Brown, maybe a Beyonce cover will help? We all know Beyonce kills her vocals, and there are millions of people on YouTube who try to do as well as her. But when Cynthia does it, she makes me believe the song was meant for her (no disrespect to my queen B). But simply put, Cynthia slays.