This is being very helpful everyone thanks.
PIPPIN is definitely on the short list because I love the play, although I don't know that The Lead Player qualifies as a role "written for a black actress." I think it's just famously gender and racially neutral. I'm having the same thoughts about INTO THE WOODS (which is what the kids are pushing for, and yes, Vanessa Williams was wonderful in the revival as The Witch.) CAROLINE, OR CHANGE is also a great idea but might be too challenging for us. Ditto RAGTIME (also I don't have a Colehouse).
I'm definitely trying to steer away from any show, like HAIRSPRAY, ALL SHOOK UP, GHOST or THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, where race might relegate my actress to a supporting role or secondary lead. (Motermouth, Sylvia, Oda Mae and Muzzie are all great roles, but they aren't the actual leads in those shows). |
I will definitely give AIDA another look. I wasn't enamored of the music the first time I heard it, but it's getting a lot of support and a big cheering section on this post. I'll grant it is an amazing role for a leading actress and I definitely have the actors to fill the other roles, including a handsome leading man rock tenor. So I probably need to give it another chance.
Someone also suggested THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELION SKIN which is apparently actually about a young black woman growing up in a very homogenous white community. Interesting title (!) and certainly one I will check out.
Thanks all! Keep those ideas coming!