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The Sisters Staff
The Sisters Staff
Culture

This Showtime Quiz Is So Much Fun, You’ll Want an Encore

Was it Jennifer Hudson or Jennifer Holliday who starred in the original ‘Dreamgirls’? Relive the best of Black Broadway as we celebrate musical genius on stage and at the movies.

We miss the neon lights on Broadway, where shows have been dark since spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For generations, musical theater and films featuring mainly Black casts have entertained and offered a euphoric mini-escape from reality. Through song and dance they have given us hope for Black love via Porgy and Bess, uplifted the spirit of African American sisterhood in The Color Purple and transported us to the motherland and imbued us with ancestral regal pride in The Lion King. It’s great to see our stars shine!

Ideal for the times we’re living in, many of us prefer to experience the razzle-dazzle of musical theater from the comfort of our homes via the small screen. So check your local listings for favorites like Fame, The Wiz and Carmen Jones. You might even sign up for a month of Disney+ just to watch Hamilton (yes, believe the hype). And don’t forget, the most memorable part of musicals is the music, and we highly recommend you cut a rug in your living room and sing out loud along with your favorite musical soundtracks, like Dreamgirls, Purple Rain and Ain’t Too Proud The Life and Times of the Temptations.

Are you a Broadway baby? Take our quiz to test your knowledge of Black musicals from the stage and screen.

1
Which stunning actress seduced Harry Belafonte as the femme fatale lead character in 1954’s Carmen Jones, a Black movie musical version of the timeless opera, Carmen?
2
After costarring in the Academy Award-nominated 1985 film with Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey helped to transform Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, into a stage musical that has had two successful runs on Broadway. A movie musical version is also in the works! Which of these dynamic performers appeared in the musical?
3
What all-Black Broadway musical did Langston Hughes credit with kicking off the Harlem Renaissance?
4
Which Broadway star has snagged six Tony Awards, more performance wins than any other actor, and is the only person to win in all four acting categories?
5
Ain’t Misbehavin’ celebrates the music of Harlem jazz pianist Thomas “Fats” Waller and is set for a reboot directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Camille A. Brown. What sassy sister stole the show in the original 1978 cast?
6
It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing. Which jazzy R&B diva starred alongside Alvin Ailey muse Judith Jamison and tap legend Gregory Hines in the 1981 Broadway revue, Sophisticated Ladies, which celebrated the music of Duke Ellington?
7
The musical Dreamgirls is loosely based on Diana Ross and the Supremes. Beyoncé, Anika Noni Rose and Jennifer Hudson wowed us in the stellar 2006 film adaptation. Who played the Ross-reminiscent lead singer, Deena, in the original 1981 Broadway show?
8
“Giving him something he can feel!” We love the sisterhood theme and songs in the movie musical Sparkle — both the 1976 original starring Irene Cara and Jordin Sparks in the more recent remake. What superstar singer played Sparkle’s strict mother in the 2012 version?
9
Full of fantasy, signature songs and outlandish fashion, The Wiz is the beloved Black adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. In 1975, André De Shields portrayed the breakout role on Broadway; what comedian played the mysterious and almighty Wiz in the 1978 film version?
10
Based on Ossie Davis’ play Purlie Victorious, what doe-eyed actress and singer got her big break belting “I Got Love” in the musical Purlie?
11
The revival of Chicago is one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history. In the award-winning 2002 film version, what was the name of the boss lady character that garnered Queen Latifah an Academy Award nomination?
12
Which of these legendary singers has been the subject of a Broadway musical?
13
Disney’s Aida is a gripping star-crossed romance inspired by Verdi's opera about an enslaved Nubian princess who falls for the Egyptian captain who captured her people. A revival of the Broadway musical is tentatively scheduled for 2021. Which soulful sister won a Tony for the title role in the 2000 original?
14
Let’s go crazy! In Purple Rain, a dramatic film that literally rocks, what was the name of the legendary nightclub where Prince (as the Kid) and the Revolution regularly performed and battled Morris Day and the Time?
15
As an actress and dancer, Debbie Allen has high-kicked on and off Broadway, including starring in a revival of Sweet Charity. However our fondest memories are of her in Fame, both the 1980 film musical and 1982 television series spin-off. What was the name of her fierce dance teacher character?

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