Virginia Repertory Theatre's THE COLOR PURPLE Begins Tonight

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Virginia Repertory Theatre's THE COLOR PURPLE Begins Tonight

Virginia Repertory Theatre announces the opening of The Color Purple at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, 114 West Broad Street on Friday, June 20, 2014 with a Preview tonight, June 19. The show runs through August 3, 2014.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, this joyful musical and epic story follows the life and personal awakening of Celie, a downtrodden young African American woman. With a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray, the uplifting score features jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues. The Broadway production earned eleven Tony nominations.

Director Chase Kniffen has assembled an outstanding cast of thirty-five along with a live band. He speaks about the energy behind the production. "I am beyond excited to bring this beautiful production to the Richmond audience. This show is a story of hope and acceptance in the most challenging circumstances. The combination of authentic gospel voices with the most sought after musical theatre performers on the East Coast will bring a thrilling and emotional experience to the November Theatre." Kniffen's directing credits include, most recently, Other Desert Cities for Virginia Rep and Next to Normal (2013 RTCC nomination for Best Director and Best Musical) for Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Rep. He won the 2010, 2011, and 2012 RTCC Award for Best Director of a Musical for his work on The Sound of Music, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Spring Awakening.

Ben Miller will serve as musical director for this production. Miller was the associate music director/conductor for The Producers at Virginia Rep and directed the music for Urinetown at SPARC and The Wild Party for Firehouse Theatre Project. Leslie Owens - Harrington, a seasoned choreographer, also joins the artistic team. Her diverse repertoire ranges from theme park mainstage productions to HBO's featured movie, Iron Jawed Angels. For Virginia Rep she was the choreographer for The Music Man, My Fair Lady, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Directing/choreography credits include Crowns and Beehive for Virginia Rep.

Set Designer, Ron Keller, is a 2014 recipient of a Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for his many years of work with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Other set designs for Virginia Rep include To Kill A Mockingbird, Scorched Earth, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Guys and Dolls.

Virginia Rep is delighted to welcome Felicia Curry in the lead role of Celie. Curry is one of the regions most sought after musical theatre performers. She has performed on stage at many of the nation's leading regional theatres, including Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Studio Theatre and has been seen in multiple productions on The Kennedy Center stage. She is a Helen Hayes Award recipient for her work in Signature Theatre's groundbreaking production of Les Miserables and a Helen Hayes nominee for her work in Godspell and Aida at Toby's Dinner Theatre. She has toured nationally with the Capital Steps and Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka.

Veteran actor and Richmond favorite, Desiree Roots Centeio, joins the cast as Sofia. Recent credits include Alma Hix in Virginia Rep's The Music Man, and as Dessa in Firehouse Theatre's Dessa Rose. In 2004, Desiree received the Theresa Pollack Prize for Excellence in the Arts as Best Vocalist in Virginia. She has been the opening act for such internationally known performers as B. B. King, Kenny Garrett, Bobby Watson, Art Porter, Gerald Albright, Leslie Uggams, and Bill Cosby.

Virginia Rep is thrilled to welcome Jerold Solomon back to Richmond in the role of Mister. Solomon was recently in the Broadway production of South Pacific at Lincoln Center and the Off-Broadway production of Bare. National tours include Ragtime, Big River, and Annie.

Building on a singing career of 20 years, Carolyn Minor-Daughtry is making her professional acting debut as Shug Avery. Virginia Rep discovered Daughtry through the public auditions for The Color Purple held last September. She has been a back-up vocalist for artists such as Kurt Carr and Kirk Franklin. Josh Marin (Virginia Rep's Music Man, The Producers, Spring Awakening, The Magic Flute) returns to the stage as Harpo and Katrina Carol Lewis (Death of the Maiden for Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare, Race for Carol Peirsol, Good People for Cadence Theatre in partnership with Virginia Rep) joins the cast as Nettie.

Virginia Rep is grateful for the support from Altria, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Union First Market, Shubert Foundation, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Richmond Times- Dispatch, Richmond.com, Radio One and Community Idea Stations.

Ticket Information

Box Office: 804-282-2620
www.va-rep.org
Full Price Tickets: $48 - $60
Discounted Group Rates and Rush tickets available.
U-Tix for college and high school students $15. Available by phone or in person day of show only. Student ID required.

The Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre is equipped with a new state-of the-art induction loop hearing system that is compatible with all telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. A handheld receiver and headphone system is also available free of charge for anyone who is hearing impaired.

Valet parking is available for $8 at all performances except the Preview on Thursday, June 19.

Evening performances at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and 7:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays.

Matinee performances at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday and 2:00 p.m. on select Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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