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Photo Flash: 'The Color Purple' Tour in San Francisco

The West Coast premiere of Oprah Winfrey's new musical, The Color Purple began performances at San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre October 9, running through Sunday, December 9. The Color Purple is presented as part of the 2007-2008 Best of Broadway season, brought to you by Citibank, under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays.

This heart-warming musical features Jeannette Bayardelle who joined the tour from the Broadway production, as the lead character Celie, along with fellow Broadway cast-mate Felicia P. Fields. Fields originated the role of Sofia, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Michelle Williams, former member of best-selling female R&B group Destiny's Child, will appear in the role of Shug Avery. Celie's sister Nettie will be played by local Bay Area performer LaToya London of "American Idol" fame.

"The Color Purple is based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Bay Area author Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg. It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discover her unique voice in the world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, The Color Purple is about hope and the healing power of love," explain press notes.

The Color Purple is directed by Gary Griffin and 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, and choreography by Donald Byrd. The original creative team of Tony Award-winner John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Tony Award-winner Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Jon Weston (sound), Jonathan Tunick (orchestrations) and Kevin Stites (Music Supervisor) has been reunited for the tour.

Tickets for The Color Purple range in price from $35 to $99 and can be purchased online at www.shnsf.com, through Ticketmaster by calling (415) 512-7770, at ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and the Orpheum Theatre Box Office (1192 Market at 8th St., M-S, 10am 6pm). For groups of 20 or more, call Group Sales at (415) 551-2020. To learn more about The Color Purple and other SHN shows, please visit www.shnsf.com

Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8PM, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2PM. Added Performance: Sunday evening, October 14 at 7:30PM and Friday matinee, November 23 at 2PM. No performance: Thursday, November 22.

Photos by Paul Kolnik


The national tour cast of The Color Purple


Grasan Kingsberry and Sumayah McRae


l-r: Rufus Bonds, Jr., Jeannette Bayardelle, and Kimberly Ann Harris, Virginia Ann Woodruff and Lynette DuPree


Felicia P. Fields and Stephanie St. James


Jeannette Bayardelle and Michelle Williams


Jeannette Bayardelle and LaToya London


Jeannette Bayardelle and LaToya London

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