In the cast of 19 are Paulette Ivory, Jacques C. Smith, E. Faye Butler, Billy Gill, Lyle Kanouse and Harrison White. Purlie ensemble members include Sean Blake, Meloney Collins, Ronald Duncan, Derric Harris, Edwin Henry, Danielle Hobbs, Elaine McLaurin, Sara Beth Lane, Rocklin Thompson, Timothy Ware and Byron Glenn Willis. There are two roles yet to be cast. The design team includes James Leonard Joy (sets); Paul Tazewell (costumes); Allen Lee Hughes (lighting); and Frederick Boot (sound). The music director is Rahn Coleman, and the choreographer is Ken Roberson.
Purlie is based on the late Ossie Davis' play Purlie Victorious. Directed by Philip Rose, the original 1970 production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical; its co-stars, Cleavon Little and Melba Moore, both won Tonys for their performances.
A recent Encores! presentation was dedicated to the memory of Ossie Davis, who died on Feb. 3.
Purlie centers around Purlie Victorious, "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."
For further ticket information, call (312) 443-3800.