The Color Purple begins previews tonight

The Broadway revival of The Color Purple begins previews at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre this evening, before an official opening on 10 December 2015, and is currently booking through to 27 March 2016.

The production, which premiered at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2013, is directed by Tony winner John Doyle, and features music by Brenda Russell and Allee Willis, lyrics by Russell, Willias and Stephen Bray and a book by Marsha Norman.

The cast for the revival includes Cynthia Erivo (reprising her role of Celie), Jennifer Hudson (Shug Avery), Danielle Brooks, Kyle Scatliffe (Harpo), Isaiah Johnson (Mister), Joaquina Kalukango (Nettie), Phoenix Best, Dwayne Clark, Lawrence Clayton, Carrie Compere, Patrice Covington, Adrianna Hicks, Bre Jackson, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevyn Morrow, Ken Robinson, Antoine L. Smith, Carla R. Stewart, Akron Watson and Rema Webb.

Based on the novel by Alice Walker, the musical tells "the story of Celie, a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discovers her voice in the world."

The Color Purple features scenic design by John Doyle, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Gregory Clarke, hair & wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, music supervision by Catherine Jayes and music direction by Jason Michael Webb.

The Color Purple is produced on Broadway by Scott Sanders, Roy Furman, and Oprah Winfrey, with David Babani and Tom Siracusa for Chocolate Factory Productions.

John Doyle's 'stripped-down' production opened at London's Menier Chocolate Factory on 15 July 2013, cutting approximately 30 minutes of material from the original production, which played at the Broadway Theatre from 1 November 2005 until 24 February 2008. The Broadway production was directed by Gary Griffin and starred Brandon Victor Dixon, Renee Elise Goldsberry and LaChanze, who won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Celie.

- by Dom O'Hanlon

Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple