What do American Idol, Destiny’s Child, and Quincy Jones all have in common? The Color Purple. While the highly-acclaimed story of The Color Purple has seen multiple iterations, there’s one name it has always been identified with: Oprah Winfrey. Her very first film role ever, Winfrey’s entertainment career has been intertwined with the success of The Color Purple, so much so, that it was thanks to her that the lauded novel and subsequent film adaptation found their way to Broadway almost 20 years after its big screen debut. But while many of us keep the movie (and her performance) in our hearts, the Broadway show has even more musical legends that helped get it to such international acclaim. Check it out as we gear up for the musical to make a stop at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center next month:
Considered one of the great musical producers of all time, Quincy Jones is pretty much the definition of “The Man”. He’s behind some of music’s most beloved productions, from Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jones was behind the original music of the film adaptation of The Color Purple, the same music that can be found in the Broadway and touring Broadway performances today.
Morrison Hotel Gallery
While many names that have appeared on the playbill for its multiple iterations are masters in their own right, The Color Purple has also marked an odd connection to the popular musical competition show. Fantasia Barrino assumed the role of Celie in the original Broadway production from April 10, 2007, to January 6, 2008, becoming the first American Idol winner on Broadway. Jennifer Hudson would make her Broadway debut in the role of Shug in its Broadway revival in 2015. Even LaToya London, fourth-place finalist of the show, played Nettie in the 2007 national tour.
New York Post
Many of the cast’s main characters have seen multiple renown names bringing them to life on stage during its multiple iterations around the world. In 2007, member of the legendary r&b pop trio, Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams took to the stage as Shug Avery in the U.S. National tour.
Orange County Register
We’re giving this incredibly talented actress, singer, and songwriter her own spotlight as she’s currently taking over the world with her endless skills across multiple disciplines. Film audiences might know her for her recent Oscar nomination as Harriet Tubman in Harriet, but theater audiences around the world have known her and her talents for years. Starting as Celie in London’s 2013 revival, she would reprise the role on Broadway in 2015 winning multiple accolades including a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and even a Daytime Emmy.
The New York Times
Since 1959, the Recording Academy has been giving out a GRAMMY for Best Musical Theater Album. Past winners include The Sound of Music, Hair, West Side Story, Les Miserables, Chicago, The Lion King, Hamilton and many many more. In 2007, The Color Purple was nominated but lost to Jersey Boys, only to take home the same award 10 years later for its Broadway revival. The show has also smashed records with 14 Tony Award Nominations and, winning 3 of them.
We can’t wait for the official Broadway tour to make its way down to Miami, thanks to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center! Witness the “glory to behold” performance on March 14th & 15th and see why it deserves such an incredible amount of acclaim. Get your tickets.