The reviews for The Color Purple are in.
And it looks like Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks and newcomer Cynthia Erivo may want to get an early start on their Tony Award dresses.
The Oscar winner and the Orange Is the New Black star made their Broadway debuts last night alongside Erivo when the Oprah Winfrey-produced revival of The Color Purple musical opened at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theater.
The New York Times called the show a "miracle" made from a "spark of genius." New York magazine hailed the production as "one of the greatest revivals ever."
"It's overwhelming," Hudson, who plays the sexy nightclub singer Shug, told me at the opening after party at the Copacabana (before the reviews were released). "It's a magical moment. I don't know how many times you guys told us it's something that you have to experience and it was so true. I didn't get it until literally stepping in it, stepping on the stage, feeling that love, whatever that magic is. It's surreal."
Brooks, who plays Sofia (originally played by Winfrey in the Steven Spielberg-directed film of the same name) was pulling double duty, filming OITNB while singing and dancing on Broadway.
"I'm just in awe of the night," Brooks said, adding, "It's just been incredible tonight to step onto that stage, to take a bow, take that final bow with my cast mates. It's really a dream come true and I feel like I'm here."
Erivo brings the house down with powerful vocals that seem effortless and from another world as Celie (Whoopi Goldberg's role in the Spielberg movie). She did the same when she first played the part in London.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
"I guess it was a little bit of disbelief that it was happening," Erivo said, referring the thunderous standing ovation they received at the end of the show. "I had no idea that was the reaction we were going to get. It was really overwhelming, hence the tears towards the end. It's just a great feeling to be able to tell the story now and be out and manage to have my debut and now here I am."
The star-studded opening night guest list included Neil Patrick Harris, Gayle King, Tamron Hall, The Color Purple author Alice Walker and Brooks' OITNB costars Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Samira Wiley, Lea DeLaria, Kate Mulgrew, Adrienne C. Moore and Yael Stone.
Hudson's husband-to-be David Otunga was there as were their adorable son David Jr. and nephew Trey.