The Color Purple Announces National Tour to Launch from Chicago in 2007

News   The Color Purple Announces National Tour to Launch from Chicago in 2007
 
The Color Purple— which boasts producer Oprah Winfrey and director Gary Griffin, both Chicago-based— will launch a national tour from the duo's hometown Cadillac Palace Theatre in April 2007.
From Left: LaChanze and Elise Withers-Mendes in The Color Purple.
From Left: LaChanze and Elise Withers-Mendes in The Color Purple. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Producers announced a six-month Chicago engagement that will begin in April, 2007 before the cross-country jaunt for the new musical. Other cities mentioned include Los Angeles,Denver, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta among others. Casting and further details are yet to be announced.

Gary Griffin — who will direct the upcoming tour — staged the work which began on Broadway Nov. 1 at the Broadway Theatre. The new musical, featuring a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and a book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman ('night, Mother), officially opened Dec. 1.

Joining Griffin will be the original design team of John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Jon Weston (sound).

Spanning over 40 years, The Color Purple is "an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman, who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world," as a release states. The show's score blends "gospel, jazz, ragtime and the blues."

Oprah Winfrey, who appeared as Sofia in the Steven Spielberg film version opposite Whoopi Goldberg as Celie and Danny Glover as Albert, is the musical's sole above-the-title producer. The Color Purple's Broadway producing team also includes Scott Sanders, Roy Furman, Quincy Jones, Creative Battery, Anna Fantaci & Cheryl Lachowicz, Independent Presenters Network, Lowy Family Group, Stephanie McClelland, Gary Winnick, Jan Kallish, Andrew Asnes & Adam Zotovich and Todd Johnson. The Broadway run was capitalized at $11 million and expects to recoup its initial investment within a year. The show continues to attract crowds — pulling in an attendance of 90% and over for the last two weeks (of February) — and reportedly has an advance sales tally of $21.5 million. The original Broadway cast album (on Angel Records) has proven popular as well, charting at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Cast Album list for the past two weeks.

Tickets for The Color Purple on sale through (212) 239-6200, via the link below or at the Broadway Theatre Box Office at 1681 Broadway. For more information, visit the website at www.colorpurple.com.

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