THE COLOR PURPLE National Tour Begins Tonight in Schenectady
The first North American tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of THE COLOR PURPLE begins tonight, October 7, 2017 in Schenectady, New York at Proctors. The tour will have its official opening October 17, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland at The Hippodrome Theatre.
The tour will visit more than 30 cities in its first year on tour. Check out a complete tour route for the 2017-18 season below!
Cast members from the 2016 Broadway revival lead the touring company, including Adrianna Hicks (Aladdin, Sister Act - Germany) as Celie, Carla R. Stewart (Ghost - National Tour, Rent - Regional) as Shug Avery and Carrie Compere (Holler If You Hear Me, Shrek the Musical - National Tour) as Sofia.
They will be joined by Gavin Gregory (The Color Purple - Revival, The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess) as Mister, N'Jameh Camara (X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation) as Nettie, J. Daughtry (The Color Purple - Revival, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Harpo, along with Darnell Abraham, Amar Atkins, Kyle E. Baird, Angela Birchett, JarEd Dixon, Erica Durham, Bianca Horn, Gabrielle Reid, C.E. Smith, Clyde Voce, Nyla Watson, J.D. Webster, Brit West, Nikisha Williams and Michael Wordly.
Based on the Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment motion picture, THE COLOR PURPLE is adapted for the stage by Tony- and Pulitzer-winner Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Tony Award-winning director and scenic designer John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company) recreates his award winning work for the national tour, alongside costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Jane Cox, sound by Dan Moses Schreier and wig & hair design by Charles G. LaPointe.
The revival of THE COLOR PURPLE opened to great acclaim in summer 2013 at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, followed by a Broadway bow on November 10, 2015 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. THE COLOR PURPLE went on to win two 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, two Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and a Daytime Emmy. THE COLOR PURPLE played 483 performances on Broadway, closing on January 8, 2017.
Below is a full list of engagements for THE COLOR PURPLE during its first season on tour:
Schenectady, NY Proctors October 7 - October 14, 2017
Baltimore, MD The Hippodrome Theatre October 17 - October 22, 2017
Atlanta, GA The Fox Theatre October 24 - October 29, 2017
Des Moines, IA Des Moines Civic Center October 31 - November 5, 2017
Detroit, MI Fisher Theatre November 7 - November 12, 2017
Pittsburgh, PA Benedum Center November 14 - November 19, 2017
Boston, MA Shubert Theatre November 21 - December 3, 2017
Hartford, CT Bushnell Theatre December 5 - December 10, 2017
Philadelphia, PA The Forrest Theatre December 12 - December 17, 2017
Oklahoma City, OK Civic Center Music Hall January 2 - January 7, 2018
Houston, TX The Hobby Center January 9 - January 14, 2018
Kansas City, MO Kauffman Center January 16 - January 21, 2018
Dallas, TX Music Hall January 23 - February 4, 2018
San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre February 6 - February 11, 2018
Memphis, TN Orpheum Theatre February 13 - February 18, 2018
New Orleans, LA Saenger Theater February 20 - February 25, 2018
Miami, FL Arsht Center February 27 - March 4, 2018
Tampa Bay, FL Straz Center for the Performing Arts March 6 - March 11, 2018
Greenville, SC Peace Center March 13 - March 18, 2018
St. Louis, MO Fabulous Fox Theatre March 20 - April 1, 2018
Durham, NC DPAC April 3 - April 8, 2018
Lincoln, NE Lied Center for the Performing Arts April 11 - April 15, 2018
Tempe, AZ ASU Gammage April 17 - April 22, 2018
Las Vegas, NV The Smith Center April 24 - April 29, 2018
San Francisco, CA The Orpheum Theatre May 1 - May 27, 2018
Los Angeles, CA The Pantages Theatre May 29 - June 17, 2018
Costa Mesa, CA Segerstrom Center for the Arts June 19 - June 24, 2018
Charlotte, NC Belk Theatre July 10 - July 15, 2018
Chicago, IL The Auditorium Theatre July 17 - July 29, 2018
D.C. Kennedy Center - Eisenhower July 31 - August 26, 2018
The North American tour is produced by Scott Sanders Productions, Roy Furman, Troika Entertainment, David Babini, Tom Siracusa, Caiola Productions, James Fantaci, Ted Liebowitz, James L. Nederlander, Darren Bagert, Candy Spelling, Adam Zotovich, Eric Falkenstein/Morris Berchard, Just For Laughs Theatricals, Tanya Link Productions, JAM Theatricals, Independent Presenters Network and Carol Fineman.
For more information, visit ColorPurple.com.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Adrianna Hicks (Celie) is beyond thrilled to be playing Celie in her first National Tour of The Color Purple! She is a Texas native with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from The University of Oklahoma's Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. Her journey with musical theatre has taken her far beyond anything that she could have prayed for and she is overjoyed with the opportunity to help spread the healing power that The Color Purple has to bring! Her credits include Broadway: Swing (The Color Purple, Revival), Fortune Teller/ Jasmine's Attendant (Aladdin). Regional/International: Deloris cover (Sister Act, Germany), Judge/Pilar cover (Legally Blonde, Austria), Sarah (Ragtime), Marlena (Buddy Holly), Dynamite (Hairspray), and a backup singer for Michael Bublé (Call Me Irresponsible Tour, OK).
Carla R. Stewart (Shug Avery) is thrilled to tour the country as Shug Avery after making her Broadway debut in the Tony and Grammy award-winning revival of The Color Purple (Olivia/Church Lady). An AMDA New York graduate. Recent/favorite regional credits: First National tour of Ghost the Musical (Oda Mae Brown), The Wiz (Dorothy), Rent (Joanne), Ain't Misbehavin' (Nell).
Carrie Compere (Sofia): Broadway: The Color Purple Revival (Sofia/Church Lady), Holler If You Hear Me (Ensemble). Off-Broadway: The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson, Sistas the Musical. National Tour: Shrek the Musical (Dragon). Regional: Golden Apple (Encores), Smokey Joe's Cafe (TUTS). TV: "Seven Seconds" (FOX/Netflix), "NYC 22" (CBS), "Gurland on Gurland" (CBS/Showtime).
Gavin Gregory (Mister): So honored and joyful to tell this empowering story again! Broadway: The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess (Crown standby); The Color Purple. Tour: Kinky Boots (Simon SR.); The Lion King 1st National. Regional: Man of La Mancha (Cervantes/Don Quixote); The Whipping Man (Simon); Ragtime (Coalhouse); Violet (Flick); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney).
N'JAMEH CAMARA (Nettie) is an actor, writer and teaching artist. Acting Credits Include X: or Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation (World Premier Off Broadway), Julius Caesar (Off Broadway), Up Here(La Jolla Playhouse), OjO (La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls Festival), Marguerite: Mama Angelou Who Saw the World Before It Saw Her (An Original One Woman Show with Ubuntu Theater Project, Eugene O'Neill Tao House, Alameda Juvenile Justice Hall), Dance of the Holy Ghost (Ubuntu Theater Project), The Wiz (Theater at the Center). MFA Acting from UC San Diego.
J. Daughtry (Harpo) is a theatrical, gospel and R&B singer and actor on both stage and screen. From his humble beginnings in Bartow, Florida, his gift has taken him all over the world singing backup for several R&B and gospel artists that include the Billboard Charting "Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy", Patti LaBelle, Donald Lawrence, Bobby Jones Gospel and Kirk Franklin. He has appeared in Cirque Dreams Holiday, Motown The Musical, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Broadway) and The Color Purple (Broadway). As a spokesperson, he has appeared on ESPN, FOX and NBC networks and as an actor, he has landed roles on several popular television shows including "Boardwalk Empire", "Law & Order SVU", "Elementary" and "Orange is the New Black". He has performed with Universal Studios Japan's R&B Boyz Crew and with Royale Caribbean Cruise Line as "Boy One." Not least of all, he has had the distinction of having been awarded the Grady-Rayam Prize, awarded to young singers with only the highest level of technical vocal ability.
Darnell Abraham (Adam) is delighted to be a part of The Color Purple National Tour. His regional credits include: Ragtime (Coalhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse), Ragtime (Coalhouse, Barrington Stage Co.), Side Show (Jake, Media Theatre), Festival of the Lion King (Nakawa, Walt Disney), Porgy and Bess (Utah Festival Opera), Showboat (Utah Festival Opera).
Amar Atkins (Guard): National Tour debut! Amar is a native of Atlanta, GA and feels blessed to join the Color Purple family! He received his MFA in Acting from LSU. Favorite Regional: Rent(Seasons Soloist, Benny & Collins U/S) at Gateway Playhouse, Civil War Voices (Man #1) at Gretna Theatre, original cast member of Leigh Fondakowski's SPILL (Barack Obama) at Swine Palace, Samson (The Angel of the Lord) at Sight & Sound Theatre, Sophisticated Ladies (Gregory), The Civil War (Fredrick Douglas).
Kyle E. Baird (Bobby/Buster) hails from Connecticut and couldn't be more thrilled to be joining The Color Purple family. Previous credits include: Goodspeed Opera's Show Boat, Fulton Theatres chamber premiere cast of Ghost the Musical (Subway Ghost/Carl U/S). MSMT's Evita, High School Musical (Chad), Hairspray (Seaweed), 8 Track (Soloist). TV: "Gotham" (Co-star), "Law and Order SVU" (Co-Star).
Angela Birchett (Church Lady): Broadway: The Color Purple. Tour/Regional highlights: Dreamgirls, Once On This Island, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Ain't Misbehavin'. TV: "Kevin Can Wait" (CBS), "Blindspot" (NBC).
JarEd Dixon (Grady) is honored to be a part of this beautiful journey with The Color Purple. Off-Broadway: Cruel Intentions (Ronald). Regional: Ragtime, In the Heights, The Color Purple(Boston), Violet, Hairspray (Ohio), Sister Act (Rhode Island), TV/Streaming: "Shades of Blue," "#BarsworkshopNYC."
Erica Durham (Squeak): National tour debut! Favorite past credits: Ragtime (Sarah), How to Succeed... (Rosemary), and 110 in the Shade (Lizzie). Film: A Bread Factory (Julie). All my love to my wonderful family and to Richard, Emily, and Kevin. Penn State Alumni.
Bianca Horn (Church Lady): SMU Graduate. Credits - National Tour: Hairspray. Regional: Ain't Misbehavin (Charlaine), H2$B (Hedy LaRue), Sister Act (Deloris), A Rats Mass (Sister Rat). The Color Purple changed my life at 12 and continues to bless me!
Gabrielle Reid (Olivia): Favorite credits include - Broadway: Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, Hairspray; National tours: Hairspray, RENT, Happy Days, Mamma Mia (LV); and marrying her husband Nathan. Film/TV: "Gotham," "The Blacklist," "Shades of Blue," "Private Life." 7 national commercials.
C.E. Smith (Preacher/Ol' Mister): Broadway and off-Broadway performances: Leap of Faith, Dreamgirls, The Full Monty, It Ain't Nothing But the Blues, and Blues in the Night. Regional theaters and National Tour productions of Aida, Cinderella, The Full Monty, Rock of Ages, Man of La Mancha, Don't Stop the Carnival, Mahalia, Crowns, Once On This Island, Blues in the Night. C.E. has also graced the stages of Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. He has T.V., commercial and movie credits as well.
Clyde Voce (Swing) is beyond excited to be part of this beautiful show! National Tours: Sister Act (u/s Curtis, Eddie, TJ), Elf (Manager). Credits: Rock of Ages (Vegas Company), Peter and the Starcatcher, The Wiz, Mamma Mia. Film: WhenWeGrowUp (Indie Feature). Proud member of Actor's Equity.
Nyla Watson (Swing) is so excited to be telling this story! She's most recently been seen as Shen Shen on the Wicked National Tour, Vanessa Williams in Gigantic the Musical and in the Colored Chorus of Showboat Live at Lincoln Center! She can also be seen on Season 3 of "Red Oaks" on Amazon.
J.D. Webster (Pa): Broadway: "Mingo" in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, Wonderful Town, Ragtime, Showboat. Other theater: Pericles, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Public Theater), City Center ENCORES! (17 productions), numerous regional theater roles. Concert: Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras (Naxos recording), Virginia Symphony Pops, Spring is Here (Carnegie Hall), the PBS broadcasts of South Pacific, "Ira Gershwin at 100" and Carousel (as "The Heavenly Friend"). A native of Norfolk, Virginia, J.D. also appears as "Simon" in the musical film Easter Mysteries.
Brit West (Church Lady). Broadway: The Color Purple. National/ International Tour Favorites: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Legally Blonde (Pilar), Dreamgirls (Effie White). Regional Favorites:West Side Story (Hollywood Bowl), Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (Fulton Theatre, Arvada Center, Tuacahn Center For The Arts, St. Michael's Playhouse), Joanne in Rent (John Engeman Theatre), Mimi in Rent (Bristol Riverside Theatre), Hairspray (Mac-Hadyn Theatre, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre), Hair (Skyline Theatre Company). TV: STARZ "POWER" and "FLESH & BONE". Education: State University of New York at Purchase College.
Nikisha Williams (Swing) is a singer/actress originally from Mobile, Alabama. She holds a Master's degree in Choral Conducting and a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi. Nikisha also spent three years as Director of Choirs at White Station High School in Memphis, TN where she received the Outstanding Young Music Educators award. She has performed in Don Giovanni and Pagliacci at Opera Memphis, and Hairspray and Memphis at Playhouse on the Square.
Alice Walker (Original Author) won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for her third novel, The Color Purple, which was made into an internationally popular film by Steven Spielberg. Her other best-selling novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages, include By the Light of My Father's Smile, Possessing the Secret of Joy and The Temple of My Familiar. Her most recent novel, Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, was published in 2004. Ms. Walker is also the author of several collections of short stories, essays and poems as well as children's books. Her work has appeared in numerous national and international journals and magazines. An activist and social visionary, Ms. Walker's advocacy on behalf of the dispossessed has, in the words of her biographer, Evelyn C. White, "spanned the globe."
Marsha Norman (Book) won a Pulitzer for her play 'night, Mother, a Tony for The Secret Garden on Broadway and a Tony nomination for her book for The Color Purple. Ms. Norman is co-chair of Playwriting at Juilliard and serves on the Steering Committee of the Dramatists Guild. She has numerous film and TV credits, as well as a Peabody for her work in TV. She has won numerous awards including the Inge Lifetime Achievement in Playwriting. She is also President of the Lilly Awards Foundation, a non-profit honoring women in theatre and working for gender parity nationwide.
Brenda Russell (Composer/Lyricist): Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter and author of "Piano in the Dark," "If Only for One Night" and "Get Here." Brenda has collaborated with superstars such as Sting; Mary J. Blige; Stevie Wonder; Chaka Khan; Tina Turner; Donna Summer; Michael McDonald; Ray Charles; Earth, Wind & Fire; Luther Vandross; Diana Ross; and Patti LaBelle, among many others. She was nominated for three Grammys for 1988's "Piano in the Dark." Since 1979 she has recorded eight solo albums, releasing Between the Sun and the Moon in 2004. Her work has also been featured in How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Liberty Heights. www.brendarussell.com
Allee Willis (Composer/Lyricist) has sold more than 50 million records, including "September," "Boogie Wonderland," "Neutron Dance" and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" She has a Grammy for the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack and an Emmy nomination for the "Friends" theme song. She's an award-winning artist, performer, multimediaist, writer and director. Willis prototyped a social network in 1992 and addressed Congress on cyberspace in 1997. She's currently working on a massive project for Detroit, including a song performed by 7,000 people and the feature documentary, Allee Willis Loves Detroit. She is also on the hit TV series, "Storage Wars." www.alleewillis.com
Stephen Bray (Composer/Lyricist) made his Broadway debut with The Color Purple in 2005. After training at Berklee College of Music, Bray wrote and produced many top-ten recordings for Madonna including "Into the Groove," "Papa Don't Preach," "True Blue" and "Express Yourself." Performing with Breakfast Club, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. He's written and produced for multiplatinum artists including Gladys Knight and Kylie Minogue. Stephen's latest venture, Masterphonic, provides storytellers with original music and reimagined classics. He would like to thank Mom and Dad for blasting Broadway cast albums and insisting on those piano lessons.
John Doyle (Director and Scenic Designer). Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Director of a Musical), Company (Tony Award for Best Musical Revival), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award for Best Musical Production), The Visit (Tony nomination for Best Musical), The Color Purple (Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, Drama Desk Award for Best Director of a Musical). Off-Broadway: Wings (Second Stage Theatre), Road Show (The Public Theater), Where's Charley?, Irma La Douce (City Center Encores!). Regional: Kiss me, Kate (Stratford Festival),The Caucasion Chalk Circle (A.C.T.), Merrily We Roll Along, The Three Sisters (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Ten Cents a Dance (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Exorcist (L.A.). In the U.K., John has been artistic director of four regional theatres. Numerous credits include The Gondoliers, Mack and Mabel (West End), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent's Park), Oklahoma! (Chichester), Amadeus (Wilton's Musical Hall). Opera includes Lucia di Lammermoor (Sydney Opera House), Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera), The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany (L.A. Opera). John is Artistic Director of CSC in New York City, where productions include Passion, Allegro, Peer Gynt, Dead Poets Society, Pacific Overtures and As You Like It.
HOULD-WARD (Costume Designer). Select Broadway: The Color Purple, The Visit, The People in the Picture; A Free Man of Color (Drama Desk Nomination), A Catered Affair (Drama Desk Nomination), Beauty and the Beast (Tony Award), Into the Woods (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations), Falsettos, Sunday in the Park With George (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations); Saint Joan; Little Me. Off-Broadway: Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company; Dead Poets Society, Classic Stage Company; Notes from the Field, Second Stage; Passion, Classic Stage Company; Russian Transport; The Blue Flower, Road Show; Lobster Alice; Cymbeline. Ms. Hould-Ward's work can be seen in over 35 International companies of Beauty and the Beast, and her other designs are featured in shows all over the world. More than 100 regional theatre credits. Recipient of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Patricia Zipprodt Award.
Jane Cox (Lighting Designer): Previous collaborations with John Doyle include Pacific Overtures, Peer Gynt, Allegro and Passion at Classic Stage Company; The Color Purple on Broadway and in London; Road Show; and Lucia di Lammermoor. Recent theatre includes Jitney and Amelie on Broadway; Othello at NYTW; Hamlet in London; Machinal and All the Way on Broadway. Jane has been nominated for two Tony awards, is a member of the Monica Bill Barnes Company and the director of the theatre program at Princeton University.
Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Designer). Broadway: Falsettos, American Psycho, The Visit, Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Sondheim on Sondheim, A Little Night Music, Gypsy (Patti LuPone),A Catered Affair, Radio Golf, John Doyle's production of Sweeney Todd, Gem Of the Ocean, Pacific Overtures, Assassins, Into The Woods, Topdog/Underdog, Dirty Blonde, Noise/Funk. He has composed scores for the Broadway productions of Merchant of Venice (Al Pacino), Julius Caesar (Denzel Washington), The Tempest (Patrick Stewart). Awards: 4 Tony Awards nominations, 4 Drama Desk Awards. Dan is currently composing a musical with Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) based on Brian's book, The Houdini Box commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse.
Charles G. LaPointe (Wig and Hair Design). More than 50 Broadway shows including Amelie, The SpongeBob Squarepants Musical, The Band's Visit, On Your Feet!, Hamilton, Doctor Zhivago, The Color Purple, Of Mice and Men, Violet, Side Show, The Elephant Man, After Midnight, Beautiful, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, Motown, Jekyll & Hyde, Clybourne Park, Bring It On, Newsies, The Mountaintop, Memphis, Lombardi, Fences, In the Heights, Jersey Boys, A Raisin in the Sun. Emmy nominee, "The Wiz Live!"