The Color Purple Cast Makes Nov. Appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show

The cast of the upcoming Broadway musical The Color Purple will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."   The episode will be shot on November 8th for a likely airing date of November 11th (subject to change).

Winfrey was recently announced as one of the musical's producers; it will mark her Broadway debut.  Twenty years ago, the talk show star/producer/actress appeared as Sofia in the Steven Speilberg film classic that, with Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is the basis of the musical.  A video clip will be shown on "The Oprah Winfrey Show;" it shows the cast learning of Winfrey's investment as she makes a surprise visit to a rehearsal.

The Color Purple, which will begin previews at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway at 53rd St.) on November 1st before opening on December 1st, will feature LaChanze as Celie, the central character in the musical's story of incest, pain, love and redemption. The star was also seen in that role when the musical premiered at Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE in 2004 (to generally positive reviews). In that production, Felicia P. Fields played the volatile and Sofia and Kingsley Leggs appeared as Mister; those two performers will return to the Broadway production alongside newcomers Renee Elise Goldsberry (Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Lion King) as Nettie and Elisabeth Withers as Shug. The show will also feature Brandon Victor Dixon as Harpo and Krisha Marcano as Squeak.

As in Atlanta, Gary Griffin (A Little Night Music at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Pacific Overtures in Chicago and London) will direct the musical.
Marsha Norman (Pulitzer Prize-winner for 'night, Mother, The Secret Garden) wrote the book, while the eclectic score, which blends gospel, pop, ragtime and blues, was penned by pop tunesmiths Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Donald Byrd has replaced Atlanta's Ken Robertson as The Color Purple's choreographer, while the design team design team still comprises John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting), and Jon Weston (sound). Orchestrations will be provided by Jonathan Tunick, while Kevin Stites is the music supervisor and Linda Twine the musical director.

Speilberg's 1985 film, which starred Whoopi Goldberg as Celie, Winfrey as Sofia and Danny Glover as Albert, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Tickets for The Color Purple can be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting the Broadway Theatre's box office.

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