LaChanze stars in ‘Trouble in Mind’ as it debuts on Broadway after 66 years

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Photo courtesy of Roundabout Theatre Company

Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze stars in Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind, directed by Charles Randolph Wright. It opened to acclaim at NYCs Greenwich Mews Theatre in 1955 and is finally making its Broadway debut on Jan. 29, 2022.

LaChanze is a founding member of Black Theatre United and is playing the lead role of Wiletta Mayer. The actress received the aforementioned Tony Award for “Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical” for The Donna Summer Musical (2018). LaChanze describes what it feels like to be a part of bringing this production to Broadway.

How would you describe what you are feeling?

It’s been 66 years coming. That’s how long it’s taken for it to make its Broadway debut. So, I’m thrilled. We’re thrilled to be able to be a part of this historic moment for Alice Childress. Charles and I worked on this production, a reading of it 11 years ago. And at the time, I played a different character in the play. I played Millie, but because I wasn’t quite old enough to play Wiletta. But I am now. I’m able to take on this essential character and I’m very excited about that. Charles has been a champion of this piece for years prior to my joining the production.

Does this role relate to you personally in any way?

I’m thrilled to have to play a role that is very similar to my own personal career. The story is basically a play within a play. It centers around a group of actors that are coming together to do an anti-lynching play that set previously. It’s about an actor who comes into this play and she’s been in the business over 25 years. I’ve been in the business over 35 years. It’s about how we had to deal with race and gender and issues within the theater that people don’t necessarily know about.

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