It's Gayle's favorite Broadway musical. Tony award winner LaChanze, who played Celie in The Color Purple, joins Gayle to talks about her role in the musical, her family and about the September 11 tragedy that blossomed into a new love.
LaChanze says she adored playing Celie, the central character in The Color Purple, and says she feels blessed to have won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She has since left The Color Purple to spend more time with her three small children, but says she learned a lot in the year she was performing.
"To get a role that is just powerful and has so much range and depth and that is so moving—to have a role like that is rare," she says. "And then for it to be such a success and for me to just embody this character the way that I have…this has been wonderful for my career, this has been wonderful for me as an artist. I've been able stretch out and really explore my own skill."
LaChanze also talks to Gayle about the death of her first husband, a Cantor Fitzgerald employee who was killed in the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. She met her new husband, an artist, through an attorney handling her 9/11 affairs. "I was still very much grieving my late husband and was not thinking at all about being intimate in any way. It was just that he was so sensitive and he unlocked my heart in a way that I wasn't quite ready for but was necessary," LaChanze says. "It was divine. And we say that all the time."