LaChanze, at the home of the “Purple House”

‘The Color Purple’ House – This is what actress LaChanze calls her five-bedroom house in Lower Westchester County, NY. This has nothing to do with exterior (grey) or interior (plum, lavender, lilac, fuchsia, mulberry and underrepresentation of violet).

But it has to do with LaChanze’s Tony Award-winning performance in the 2005 musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s famous novel. “In ‘The Purple,’ I could buy a house,” said Lachaz, who is currently starring in Alice Childress’ 1955 comedy “Disturbed,” in a limited-run Broadway run until January 9th. . “

Her other Broadway credits include “Once upon this Island” (1990), “If/Then” (2014) and “Summer: Donna Summer Musical” (2018). In 2010, she won an Emmy for the PBS special “Handel’s Messiah Rocks: A Joyful Noise.”

After considering various housing possibilities 16 years ago, LaChanze chose the suburbs because she wanted her children, actress Celia Rose Gooding, 21, and college student Zaya LaChanze Gooding, 20, to get to know the lawns and trees firsthand. For herself, she wanted relatively new buildings.

“I knew I was going to live alone,” said LaChanze, 60, whose husband Calvin Gooding, a Cantor Fitzgerald trader, was killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. “I know I don’t know how to fix it. It narrows my options because many of the properties in Westchester are very old.”

Profession: actor

Great show: “People love watching me cook fried chicken on Instagram. My mom used to say, ‘If you can’t cook a meal in 30 minutes, you’re not a good cook.'”


“I’m lucky,” she continued. “I found a house that was built in 2000. I’m the second owner.”

Perhaps she was luckier with the surroundings of the house: abundant greenery and a yard close to the park and the Bronx River.

“People can’t cross the line, so it’s like my own piece of water,” LaChanze said. “It’s quiet and scenic. That’s pretty much what sold me.”

She has since added a fire pit and installed a set of wind chimes in a birch tree near the deck. They struck the key of A. “I like that,” she said. “A lot of black devotionals are written on this key. Did you hear that chord? It’s beautiful.”

Unlike those bells, the house needs some fine-tuning. It definitely has style. This is not LaChanze’s unique style.

“There were gilded fixtures and I was like, ‘Nooooo,'” she said. They went out, replaced by nickel.

The pillars between the study and kitchen come down to create an expansive space with bookcases built on either side of the fireplace. (One of the shelves holds steel remnants of the Twin Towers.) Marble countertops, marble floors, a brown and copper-colored glass-tiled backsplash, and several coats of cream-yellow paint are part of the kitchen overhaul.

“I kind of went here to work a little bit,” LaChanze said with a smile. “All my friends and followers who follow me on Instagram know what my kitchen looks like.”

You can easily tell that this is the residence of people who work in art. Framed awards and stacks of scripts in the office, set-up areas for recording meetings, display posters on the walls of the basement gym, all illustrate the point.

“I recently shot a Spike Lee documentary on HBO,” LaChanze said, referring to “NYC Epicenters 9/11 → 2021 ½.” “He gave me a poster for the show and signed it for me.”

It is also clear that this is the home of someone who cares about art. “I’m a bit of a collector,” LaChanze said. “I call the foyer my international space because I travel a lot and I have a lot of art from different places” – a door from Nigeria, a painting etched on bark from Tonga, from Rwanda .

Also in the foyer is a vigorous fiddle-leaf fig, one of two figs that enthusiastic gardener LaChanze bought at Costco this summer—a bargain at $69 a piece, she’s proud to tell you—from It has been tending since then, first on the deck and now the stairs to the second floor.

“I just love it. Look how big it is,” she said, sounding like a very proud mother.

In short, you have your main business at LaChanze’s home: cultivating.

Here, the actor’s large and far-flung family gathers twice a year for reunions and is encouraged to sleep in a custom-designed brown crushed velvet section in the den. Here, every month, a group of poker-playing cronies come to bid for an evening of whist.

“It’s important in my culture,” LaChanze said. “When I was younger, my parents played with their friends, but then someone had to leave. They came to me and taught me how to play so they could move on because you need four.”

Her love for the game and its key components has always been there: she has amassed 100 decks of very elegant cards.

“Okay, so I was walking down the rabbit hole of the Internet one night and I found this group of people at a pickup club,” Lachaze said. “I joined and every few months I get a new deck from a new designer. I would say there are a lot of cool guys and magicians on the bikes in the club, talking to these guys all over the country What we love about cards is really interesting.”

Near LaChanze’s basement card table is a sofa upholstered in green velvet. “This is the first sofa I bought with my husband,” she said, patting the cushions. “We were at Bloomingdale’s and I told him I wanted a nice deep sofa that we could spoon in and not feel uncomfortable. We all fit into that.”

She added: “I kept it so my daughters could eat a small portion of their dad’s here.”

When LaChanze came home from the theater, she would greet her three cats and walk to the deck, usually with a glass of wine in hand, listening to wind chimes, or walking to the water or fire pit.

“I love my home,” she said simply. “My friends told me, ‘Well, LaChanze, you’re getting old. Your daughters are always away. Why live in such a big place all by yourself?

alone? She doesn’t see it that way.

She has her river. She has stars. She has what she calls “core lights,” the lights in the dining room that never turn off. Every night, she falls asleep to the lullaby of the Metro-North train whistle.

“I love hearing that sound,” LaChanze said. “Because it reminds me that I’m not alone.”

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