Oprah to Produce 'Color Purple' Musical Movie?

The LA Times reports Oprah Winfrey, legendary American talk-show host and producer of Broadway's The Color Purple, may be planning a stage-to-screen adaptation of the hit musical production.

Reports state: "Yesterday Oprah let slip some news she hadn't planned on announcing while touting the new Denzel Washington movie she produced, The Great Debaters during a press conference with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  [When asked] if she's planning on making a film of the new musical version of The Color Purple, much like Hairspray and The Producers recently went from non-musical screen original to Broadway tuner adaptation to film musical… Oprah paused awkwardly, held her breath for a second, then blurted out, 'Actually, I am.' But she offered no further details."

Oprah Winfrey received an Academy Award-nomination for her performance in Steven Spielberg's film version of The Color Purple.

The Color Purple, nominated for eleven 2006 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the recipient of a Best Actress Tony Award, for LaChanze (as Celie) celebrated its second year on Broadway in November, and continues its highly successful run at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway, between 52nd and 53rd Streets).

In addition to Best Musical, the production also received Tony Award nominations for Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery and Felicia P. Fields  as Sofia for Best Featured Actress in a Musical; Brandon Victor Dixon as Harpo for Best Featured Actor in a Musical; Marcia Norman for Best Book of a Musical; Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray for Best Score of a  Musical: John Lee Beatty for Best Scenic Design of a Musical; Paul Tazewell for Best Costume Design of a Musical; Brian MacDevitt for Best Lighting Design of a Musical and Donald Byrd for Best Choreography of a Musical.

The first North American Tour of the show kicked-off in Chicago on April 17, 2007 at The Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Directed by Gary Griffin, the musical features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning composers/lyricists Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray with choreography by Donald Byrd.

The Color Purple is produced on Broadway by Oprah Winfrey, Scott SandersRoy Furman, Quincy Jones, Creative Battery, Anna Fantaci & Cheryl Lachowicz, Independent Presenters Network, Lowy Family Group, Stephanie McClelland, Gary Winnick, Jan Kallish, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Bob and Harvey  Weinstein, Andrew Asnes & Adam Zotovich, and Todd Johnson.

For more information on the show, go to www.colorpurple.com

Oprah Winfrey: Photo by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd

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