Jennifer Hudson Wows Ravinia

Jennifer Hudson made her grand entrance to the Ravinia FestivalPavilion on Sunday via the same aisle as patrons, dressed in a purple jumpsuit and accompanied by three horn players. She rocked the opening with a spiritual blockbuster, “How Great Thou Art.” That was all it took to thrill the audience and get the evening going for the annual Women’s Board Gala Evening for Reach, Teach, Play fund raiser. Hudson made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut under the direction of George Hanson and was truly magnificent.

Jennifer Hudson performing at Ravinia, all in purple. Courtesy of Ravinia Festival.

Jennifer Hudson made her grand entrance to the Ravinia Festival Pavilion on Sunday via the same aisle as patrons, dressed in a purple jumpsuit and accompanied by three horn players. She rocked the opening with a spiritual blockbuster, “How Great Thou Art.” That was all it took to thrill the audience and get the evening going for the annual Women’s Board Gala Evening for Reach, Teach, Play fundraiser. Hudson made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut under the direction of George Hanson and was truly magnificent.

Academy Award-winner and Chicago native Hudson graced the Ravinia stage only once before in 2011. The audience anticipated her show with great enthusiasm and Hudson did not disappoint. Hudson’s illuminating singing voice is as big as her heart, reaching the high notes with power and poise. Purple was the color of the night as everything matched, even the microphone. With her back-up group, the Hudson-ettes, her set list included tributes to Whitney Houston, Prince and Stevie Wonder. She invited the audience to participate in singing the meaningful “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen and received a standing ovation. In “One Night Only,” audience members came on stage and they were sensational.

Handpicked by Aretha Franklin to play the Queen of Soul in an upcoming biopic, Hudson is a two-time Academy Award winner as well as Grammy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and more. Look for Hudson to play in the musical adaption to the big screen as Grizabella in Cats. She also starred in Sex and the City, Winnie Mandela, the animated Sing, and in the Broadway production of The Color Purple. She became a coach-mentor on the American and British incarnations of “The Voice.”

She ended the performance with a medley from Dreamgirls, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” Hudson’s signature “Dreamgirls” showstopper, the perfect end to a stellar performance.

Coming up next at Ravinia are the Ghostbusters film on July 21, accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a Tribute to Abba on July 30 and Ringo Starr and the Beach Boys on August 3 and 4. For information, go to Ravinia.org.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*