I so was thrilled when I read this sentence in Ben Brantley's New York Times review of the musical Fela!, which opened on Broadway last night:
"Saycon Sengbloh shimmers as the seductress who introduces Fela to Marx and the American black-power movement."
Now that I've been going to Broadway shows for a few years, it's great to see actors and actresses whose performances I loved work their way up the food chain.
I can remember as clearly as if it happened yesterday walking up to the Broadway Theatre with Steve on Broadway on the day we finally met after months of e-mailing. It was July 22, 2007, and we going to see The Color Purple with Fantasia, who'd gotten great reviews.
Unfortunately, Fantasia was out that day. I was a bit disappointed until Steve found out that Saycon Sengbloh would be playing the role of Celie. He told me he'd seen her in Wicked and she was terrific.
Well, Steve was right. I was so moved by her performance in The Color Purple. In May, I saw Sengbloh in Hair. And next month, I'll be in the audience at Fela!
(In this New York Daily News story, she talks about how she's known her Fela! costar Sahr Ngaujah since they were teenagers in Atlanta.)
Until now Sengbloh, who made her Broadway debut in Aida in 2003, has never done what I imagine every Broadway performer dreams of doing - create a role.
Congratulations, Saycon. As Celie would say, you are definitely here.