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.