Will Oprah Winfrey Make Broadway Debut Opposite Audra McDonald in 'night, Mother?; Color Purple Revival in the Works
By Michael Gioia
Famed talk show host, Academy Award nominee and Broadway producer Oprah Winfrey is in talks to make her Broadway debut in a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play 'night, Mother, opposite five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, according to the New York Times.
The two-person play by Marsha Norman, who penned the book to The Color Purple (on which Winfrey was lead producer) and is currently represented with Broadway's The Bridges of Madison County, would cast Winfrey as a mother struggling to stop her daughter from committing suicide.
Tony winner George C. Wolfe (Lucky Guy) would direct the production, which is aiming for a Broadway bow in the 2015-16 season, according to theatre executives.
Lead producer Scott Sanders confirmed that he was in discussions with Winfrey to make her Broadway debut, but declined to discuss further details.
"Oprah has had a longstanding desire to act on Broadway," Sanders told the Times. "She understands how unique and challenging performing live on stage will be as an actress. She and I have been looking at a number of plays and roles in order to find material and a character that truly resonate with her. We've recently read something that we're both excited about but are not yet ready to officially announce the specifics."
The Times also reports that Winfrey and Sanders are currently working on a Broadway revival of The Color Purple that would be stripped down by Tony winner John Doyle (who directed and designed the production in London in summer 2013) and bow in the 2014-15 season.
'night, Mother opened on Broadway in March 1983 and starred Kathy Bathes and Anne Pitoniak. The production was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play, and took home the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A revival bowed on Broadway in 2004, starring Edie Falco and Brenda Blethyn.
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