Goodman Theatre's Purlie Extends Chicago Run Through Oct. 30

The Goodman Theatre's production of the 1970 musical Purlie has extended its limited engagment. The show, which opened on September 17th, will now play through October 30th; it was to have closed on October 23rd.

Based on Ossie Davis' play Purlie Victorious, the musical similarly tells the tale of its title character "who has pursued many careers in his short life, and now received the call to be a preacher. All he needs is a church and his destiny will be fulfilled. But to achieve that dream, he has to con Ol' Cap'n Cotchipee, a Georgia plantation owner, out of a good bit of cash," according to the Goodman's website.

The highly satiric show, which is presented by the Goodman with Pasadena Playhouse, features music by Gary Geld and lyrics by Peter Udell (both also of Shenandoah fame). Davis adapted the book from his play with Udell and Philip Rose. Originally starring Tony Award-winners Cleavon Little and Melba Moore, it features Jacques C. Smith as Purlie and Paulette Ivory as Lutiebelle in its current Chicago staging; E. Faye Butler, Billy Gill, Lyle Kanouse and Harrison White are also in the cast. Sheldon Epps directs.

Purlie's design team comprises James Leonard Joy (scenery), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Allen Lee Hughes (lighting) and Frederick Boot (sound), while Ken Roberson is the choreographer and Rahn Coleman the music director.

Purlie opened at the Broadway Theatre on March 15th, 1970 to run for 28 previews and 688 performances. In addition to netting Tonys for Little and Moore, the show picked up three other Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Purlie recently received a concert staging at Encores!, as well; it featured Blair Underwood, John Cullum, Anika Noni Rose and Lillias White. That production was dedicated to the memory of Davis, who died on February 3rd of this year.

For more information and tickets, visit

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