On Feb. 11, the cast of Broadway's The Color Purple gathered at The W Hotel Midtown to celebrate the release of their cast recording, on shelves and available on iTunes (and at the theatre for purchase) beginning Feb. 19.
The room was electric with the energy of a cast clearly thrilled to listen to their work immortalized on CD. "I almost cried," said Kyle Scatliffe, who plays Harpo in the production. "I'm not a crier per se — I cry onstage, I don't cry in life — but it was overwhelming."
As Scatliffe's first cast recording, he clutched the disc throughout the night. "It's one of those things you dream about. When you're a kid, when you're growing up and you want to do this as a job, you never think, 'Hey, I'm actually gonna be on one of these one day.' It's amazing; it's overwhelming; it's a dream come true."
The celebration included a listening party as ensemble members cheered for Broadway newcomer Danielle Brooks through her "Hell No!" recording, but also some poignant moments as Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo absorbed the sound of their "What About Love?" This is clearly a cast that loves each other, and the intimacy of the production and the studio experience culminated in an intimate listening experience.
Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo and Co. Celebrate New Color Purple Album With Exclusive Listening Party
"There's nothing like the real experience, you know, so I still urge everybody to please come see the show," says Isaiah Johnson, who plays Mister, "but that fact that it is on the album — what I love is that for those who did see the show, it reminds them, they go on the journey all over again at home."
Ruthie Fierberg is the Features Editor at Playbill.com. She has also written for Backstage, Parents and American Baby, including dozens of interviews with celeb moms and dads for parents.com. Follow her on Twitter at @RuthiesATrain.