In 1982 Alice Walker published an extraordinary novel that would go on to not only win awards and set records, but remain instrumental in constructing cinematic, stage, and Black history.
On Nov. 10, more than 30 years after its inception, a new edition of Walker’s “The Color Purple” will be released alongside the highly anticipated musical revival. Featuring artwork and exclusive elements from the newest stage production, the special edition, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner Books, is available the same date the musical begins Broadway previews, Nov. 10th, 2015.
“The Color Purple” tells the inspirational story of Celie, who through faith and the power of love, triumphs over relentless pain and adversity to find the God-given strength she never knew she had.
Over the years, “The Color Purple” has received as much commendation as it has criticism. In 1983, the novel received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. Despite the stigma surrounding its themes of sexism, racism and violence, Steven Spielberg took on the courageous task of directing the film adaptation in 1985. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover, the film went on to receive 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, but failed to win any.
A musical adaptation of the famed novel came to Broadway in 2005, produced by Scott Sanders, Quincy Jones, Harvey Weinstein, and original film cast member, Winfrey. Starring LaChanze as Celie, the musical also received 11 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. LaChanze took the award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Now, following rave reviews in London, American fans of the original production are eager to experience director John Doyle’s stripped down version of The Color Purple, starring Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks, which opens Dec. 10.
Alice Walker’s literary contribution is epic and the re-release marks the commemoration of a story that needs to be heard and hopefully will be for years to come. I have seen the musical three times, watched the movie more times than I can count, but I must say, nothing compares to her words. I implore you to read this beautiful novel. Knowing it will only make every other adaptation that much more remarkable.
On October 29th, 2015 Alice Walker and the stars of The Color Purple revival, Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson, along with the director of the Broadway revival, John Doyle will sit down at John L Tishman Auditorium at The New School for a TimesTalks conversation. Watch the live stream with us below at 7:30pm EST!
Don’t miss this exciting conversation with musical performances from the new Broadway production of “The Color Purple.” Hear Alice Walker, author of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel; Tony Award winner John Doyle, who re–envisioned the new, critically acclaimed musical; and two of its stars – Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, and from the hit London production, British stage star Cynthia Erivo, both making their Broadway debuts. Moderated by New York Times theater reporter Michael Paulson.
Tituss Burgess Has New Music, A New Movie, & No Time For Mess + The Preacher’s Wife Musical Update
On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Tituss Burgess gave us an update on his musical adaptation of the 1996 movie, The Preacher’s Wife – starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. On the late-night talk show, a viewer called in to ask if there had been any updates regarding the show and Burgess shared that:
“ We are very close to signing with a hot-shot producer in New York, which means that the show is closer to appearing in London or here. But there’s also a recent development which could delay it for the better. You’ll find out about it later”
So not only do we know that the musical is still on its way to bless us, but there is an announcement about the show on the way! If you ask me, this is incredibly exciting. Tituss Burgess’ career has gone from stage to screen, and his abilities as an actor and singer are undeniable. Knowing that we are closer to seeing his skills as a musical theatre composer is mad exciting. Watch a clip from the interview above.
While we wait for The Preacher’s Wife Musical, listen to Burgess’ newly released EP Saint Tituss. Burgess sings his face off as he skillfully talks about issues that are personal and political — all while wrapping things up with a joyous celebration of resilience as positivity. He also has two songs that feature Daniel J. Watts including the single 45
He also has a new movie on the way. “Dolemite Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy along with Burgess, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, & more will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. A national release date has not been set as of yet but is sure to be on its way.
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Dressed to impress 🎩 fun shot with some of the incredible cast of “Dolemite Is My Name” premiering at the Toronto Film Festival! Keep an eye peeled for more of these incredible outfits and a release date soon to come 😏 • #dolemiteismyname #dolemite #newmovie #torontofilmfestival #ohCanada #Ay #ThisWardrobeTho #ThisCastTho #eddiemurphy #mikeepps #chrisrock #wesleysnipes #keeganmichaelkey #craigrobinson
While discussing the new movie during the same interview, Cohen asked Burgess about his relationship with Murphy. The way Cohen presented the question insinuates there might have been a problem between the two because of a ‘problematic past with the gays’ on Murphy’s part. The response given by Burgess is swift and loaded with “you tried it, but you won’t get me”:
“He wasn’t problematic for Tituss. We had a wonderful time. We talked about Dreamgirls and he should have won the Oscasr, I believe. He was great. Any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”
and this is why we live.
The Public Theater Will Present Hercules Musical & Hercules Is Black!
We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when. Back in 2017, we reported that a musical adaptation of the Disney movie Hercules would be headed to Broadway. Now we can confirm that is somewhat true.
Hercules will be the latest Disney musical to be made for the stage and will play Off-Broadway at the Public Theater’s Delacorte Theater in Central Park. As the final show of the Shakespeare in the Park season theater season performances will run August 31 through September 8 with a reading set to take place in April.
The role of Hercules will be played by a Black actor, according to the casting notice
The musical will include the Oscar-nominated “Go the Distance, along with other songs from the 1997 animated film by Alan Menken & David Zippel. Presented through an arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, the show will be directed by Lear deBessonet. The creative team also includes a book by Kristoffer Diaz, & choreography by Chase Brock.
Before Hercules, Kenny Leon will direct the Much Ado About Nothing May 21 through June 23 to begin the Shakespeare in the Park season.
Casting for all both productions will be announced at a later date