Khan, Winans and Jones to Join Broadway's Color Purple
By Andrew Gans
Famed vocalist Chaka Khan, R&B singer Bebe Winans and "American Idol" finalist LaKisha Jones are all scheduled to join the New York company of The Color Purple at the Broadway Theatre.
Khan and Winans will join the cast Jan. 9, 2008, in the roles of, respectively, Sofia and Harpo (Sofia's husband). Jones will join the company a few weeks earlier, on Dec. 19, 2007, as the church soloist in the musical's opening number. When Khan arrives, Jones will also play Sofia at the matinee performances.
"American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino is currently enjoying a successful run as Celie in the award-winning musical. Not only did Barrino score raves from most every critic, but she has significantly boosted the show's box office. The singer was originally scheduled to leave the show in October, but she has extended her run through Jan. 6, 2008. There has been no announcement about who will step into the role of Celie once Barrino departs.
The Broadway production of The Color Purple began previews on Nov. 1, 2005 at the Broadway Theatre and officially opened Dec. 1, 2005.
Based on the Alice Walker novel and the Steven Spielberg film, The Color Purple features a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman ('night, Mother). The musical was directed by Gary Griffin.
The design team comprises John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Jon Weston (sound).
The Color Purple's lead producer is Scott Sanders; the presenting producer is Oprah Winfrey, who received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in the film version.
The rest of the Broadway producing team includes Quincy Jones, Roy Furman, 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.
For tickets, call (212) 239-6200, visit the Broadway Theatre Box Office at 1681 Broadway or visit the website at www.colorpurple.com.
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