BWW Interview: Andrew Malone of THE COLOR PURPLE at Ordway Center For Performing Arts
Just call March 13, 2020, the day theatres went dark in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Sadly, most of the local arts organizations have followed the lead of sports leagues and other events that gather large groups of people to help stop community spread of the novel virus in Minnesota. Along with an inbox flooded by announcements today, the Ordway Center for Performing Arts announced that they will postpone and no longer present THE COLOR PURPLE (or Sting's THE LAST SHIP and several other events) this spring.
In the hope that these shows will be rescheduled at a later date (watch www.ordway.org for updates), we're moving ahead with sharing an interview with hit musical, THE COLOR PURPLE's "Mister," Andrew Malone. Hopefully we'll experience his performance soon in Saint Paul.
For anyone unfamiliar with the story, can you give a brief description of THE COLOR PURPLE, from your character's perspective?
Mister would describe THE COLOR PURPLE as a story of redemption and a life guide on how to ask and accept forgiveness.
What do you love about this show and what challenges you most?
I admire how Alice Walker penned a clear story with a clear solution teaching us that every healing begins with love.
The most challenging part of performing TCP is not to "improve" the story too much by showing-off my acting skills. The story is very clear, the words are already profound and full of purpose, so trusting the text/vision to do the work for you can be a bit low-key challenging.
How long has this tour been running and how long have you been playing Mister in it? What do you think of touring life?
Yes, the first national launched in 2017, and I've joined the cast in the currently running second national tour which launched in 2019. I love touring. This will be my third national tour.
What's a lesson you hope audience members leave the theatre with after seeing the show?
My aim is for people to walk away with the solutions provided instead of the problems given.
How did you get your start in acting, and where did you train?
Well, my first role ever was in kindergarten where I starred in THE GINGERBREAD MAN as the Gingerbread Man. I guess you can say, the bug bit me early on. I've trained at a high school in a small town in Chicago, and for post-secondary ed, I studied at Columbia College Chicago and AMDA-NY.
What roles are on your bucket list for your career?
I'm blessed to have performed most of my bucket list musical theatre roles including Mister. Now, I'm waiting for my chance at Bobby in COMPANY, Mufasa in TLK (THE LION KING), and Otis Williams in ATPTB (Editor's note, probably: AIN'T TO PROUD TO BEG, or AIN'T TOO PROUD - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS). And most importantly, I'm down to accept anything that requires me to play Viola Davis' son- period.
Good idea to put that out there to the universe.
Andrew Malone and Mariah Lyttle in The Color Purple. Photo by Jeremy Daniel." height="533" src="https://cloudimages.broadwayworld.com/upload13/2026275/Andrew-Malone-Mariah-Lyttle-THE-COLOR-PURPLE-%C2%A9-JEREMY-DANIEL.jpg" width="800" />
6 Quick Hits:
Favorite non-theatre song? All things Beyoncé
Cake or pie? Neither- donuts
Favorite sport? Football
Personal hero? My high school theatre teachers
Favorite Netflix? SEX EDUCATION
Why @angryactor? (Malone's Instagram handle) Name given in college for playing all the "angry" heavy roles. I'm always somebody's daddy.
More: 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. ColorPurple.com
Watch www.ordway.org for information about potential re-booking of THE COLOR PURPLE and other performances that have been postponed due to COVID-19. If you have tickets to the shows, check the site for more about your options.
Andrew Malone, courtesy of The Ordway.
Andrew Malone and Mariah Lyttle in The Color Purple. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.