The Color Purple Summary

  • The Color Purple is 2.5 Hours long, including an intermission of 15 Minutes
  • 8 Shows per week
  • Previews Began: November 10, 2015
  • Opens December 10, 2015
  • Show Closed: January 8, 2017

The Color Purple, a Broadway musical, is based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker, which was made into a 1985 film by Steven Spielberg starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg. The show principally takes place in rural Georgia, and deals with the life of African American women in the 1930's American south.

The Color Purple on Broadway Background

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2005, when it earned 11 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical, and La Chanze won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Celie. That production ran for 910 performances, in addition to 30 preview performances, finally closing in 2008. It has also been touring around the United States ever since that premiere. This new revival comes to Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre following the 2013 staging at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. Starring Jennifer Holliday as Shug Avery and Cynthia Erivo (who played the role at the Menier Chocolate Factory) as Celie, this production is directed by John Doyle (The Visit, A Catered Affair, Company). The musical has a book written by Marsha Norman (‘night, Mother, The Secret Garden), and music and lyrics by Allee Willis, Stephen Bray, and Brenda Russell. The producers of this production include, Roy Furman, Scott Sanders, Oprah Winfrey, and David Babani who runs the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

What’s The Color Purple Like?

Celie is a 14 year-old girl who is pregnant for the second time at the start of the show. Despite her close friendship with her sister, Nettie, she is separated when a farmer needs a wife and Celie is sent to him. Nettie, meanwhile, has dreams of becoming a teacher, but the farmer prevents the sisters from being in touch. At one point, the entire town is revved up by the arrival of a sexy singer named Shug Avery (Heather Headley), who also happens to be the longtime lover of Mister, Celie’s husband. However, Shug is in such bad shape when she arrives that Mister takes her in, and Celie nurses her back to health. From then on, the story continues, and the beautiful score includes such songs as “Somebody Gonna Love You” and “Too Beautiful For Words.”

Is The Color Purple Good for Kids?

Yes, but the show is not advised for children aged 8 and under. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.

Theatre Information

Bernard B Jacobs Theatre

242 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10019
Seats: 1,101
Entrance: 45th Street, between 8th and Broadway
Theatre Information

Bernard B Jacobs Theatre Seating Chart

The Color Purple Marquee

The Color Purple Marquee

Cast Members

Celie
Cynthia Erivo
Shug Avery
Jennifer Holliday
Sofia
Carrie Compere
Mister
Isaiah Johnson
Harpo
Kyle Scatliffe
Nettie
Joaquina Kalukango

Producers

Tom Siracusa

David Babani

Scott Sanders

Roy Furman

Oprah Winfrey

Production Credits

Director, Setting & Costume Designer
John Doyle
Music Supervisior
Catherine Jayes
Light Design
Jane Cox
Musical Direction
Jason Michael Webb
Lyrics +Music
Brenda Russell, Allee Willis + Stephen Bray
Book
Marsha Norman
Production Stage Manager
Matt DiCarlo

Creative Team

General Manager
Bespoke Theatricals LLC
Company Manager
Doug Gaeta at Bespoke Theatricals LLC
Casting Director
Justin Huff at Telsey + Company
Advertising Representative
SPOTCo
Press Agent
Polk & Co.