According the show's producers, the special will chronicle the Broadway debuts of Oscar and Grammy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson (as Shug Avery), "Orange is the New Black" star Danielle Brooks (as Sofia), playing the role done by Winfrey herself in the 1985 film, and the breakout star of the London premiere production Cynthia Erivo (as Celie).
Winfrey will speak with each of them about "the impact The Color Purple has had on their lives, the journey each has taken to opening night and how they are each handling the pressures of preparing for their first Broadway show."
The special will also include reflections from Alice Walker, who wrote the book on which the film and stage show were based; and actors Danny Glover, Lupita Nyong’o, Cicely Tyson and Phylicia Rashad on the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.
Here is a sample of the documentary:
Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young woman who overcomes oppression and violence in her own home to discover her true self, The Color Purple features Grammy, Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Hudson as Shug Avery opposite Erivo, star of John Doyle's acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory production in London, as Celie, and "Orange is the New Black" star Danielle Brooks as Sofia.
This pared-down revival was first seen at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, directed and designed by Tony winner Doyle (The Visit, Sweeney Todd, Company).
The musical, which was first seen on Broadway in 2005, was adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy Award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.
Also in the company are Phoenix Best, Dwayne Clark, Lawrence Clayton, Carrie Compere, Patrice Covington, Adrianna Hicks, Bre Jackson, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevyn Morrow, Ken Robinson, Antoine L. Smith, Carla R. Stewart, Akron Watson and Rema Webb.
The show has scenic design by Doyle, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Gregory Clarke, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, music supervision by Catherine Jayes, music direction by Jason Michael Webb and casting by Telsey + Company/Justin Huff, CSA.
The Color Purple is produced on Broadway by Scott Sanders Productions, Roy Furman, Oprah Winfrey, David Babani, Tom Siracusa, Caiola Productions, James Fantaci, Ted Liebowitz, Stephanie P. McClelland, James L. Nederlander, Darren Bagert, Candy Spelling, Adam Zotovich, Eric Falkenstein/Morris Berchard, Just For Laughs Theatricals/Tanya Link Productions, Adam S. Gordon, Jam Theatricals, Independent Presenters Network.