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Mon 19 Aug 2013 return to previous page


The Color Purple returning to Broadway?

John DoyleThe Color Purple
John Doyle

The New York Times reports that director John Doyle's streamlined version of the musical The Color Purple, currently playing at London's 190-seat Menier Chocolate Factory, could be heading to Broadway in the near future.

Doyle has cut the two and a half hour show by 30 minutes, stripping away scenes which he believes distracts from the story of the musical's central character, 'Celie.'

Masha Norman, who won a Pulitzer prize for her stage-adaptation of Alice Walker's novel for the Broadway musical which premiered in 2005, met with John Doyle and give her support to his major amendments to the musical's libretto. She told the New York Times,

John said he wanted to return to the roots of Celie’s story, and to create a production that could be performed in a roadside barn theater in Georgia, and that seemed exciting to me. Besides, no show is perfect. Look, there were things I would’ve fixed if I had more time.
Doyle's streamlined version of the The Color Purple opened at London's Menier Chocolate Factory on 15 Jul 2013 to mostly exellent reviews: "Made in Haven... Exquisite." (New York Times); "Something truly extraordinary." (The Stage); "This is a show that pierces and shakes to the soul." (Art's Desk); "Uplifting and heart-capturing." (London Time out)

Oprah Winfrey and Scott Sanders, two of the major producers of the Broadway premiere of The Color Purple, have expressed an interest in bringing Doyle's helming of the The Color Purple to Broadway, as well as to London's West End. There has been no official confirmation.

The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker's novel, is a family chronicle that follows 'Celie' as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life.

The musical features music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and a libretto adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman.

The Broadway premiere played at the Broadway Theatre from 01 Nov 2005 through to 24 Feb 2008. Directed by Gary Griffin, it starred LaChanze as ' Celie ,' who won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. The production was nominated for a further 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score.

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