The West Coast premiere of Oprah Winfrey's new musical, The Color Purple began performances at San Francisco's Orpheum
Theatre October 9, running through Sunday, December 9. The Color Purple is presented as part of the 2007-2008 Best of
Broadway season, brought to you by Citibank, under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays.
This heart-warming musical features Jeannette Bayardelle who
joined the tour from the Broadway production, as the lead character Celie,
along with fellow Broadway cast-mate Felicia P. Fields. Fields originated the
role of Sofia,
for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Michelle Williams, former
member of best-selling female R&B group Destiny's Child, will appear in the
role of Shug Avery. Celie's sister Nettie will be played by local Bay Area
performer LaToya London of "American Idol" fame.
"The Color Purple is
based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Bay Area author Alice
Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg.
It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who
finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discover her unique voice in the
world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated
score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, The Color Purple is about hope and the healing power of love,"
explain press notes.
The Color Purple
is directed by Gary Griffin and features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner
Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning composers/lyricists
Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and choreography by Donald Byrd. The original creative team of Tony Award-winner
John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Tony Award-winner Brian
MacDevitt (lighting), Jon Weston (sound), Jonathan Tunick (orchestrations) and
Kevin Stites (Music Supervisor) has been reunited for the tour.
Tickets for The Color
Purple range in price from $35 to $99 and can be purchased online at www.shnsf.com, through Ticketmaster by calling (415) 512-7770, at ticketmaster.com,
at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and the Orpheum Theatre Box Office (1192
Market at 8th St., M-S, 10am – 6pm). For groups of 20 or more, call Group Sales
at (415) 551-2020. To learn more about The Color Purple and other SHN shows,
please visit www.shnsf.com
Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8PM, Wednesday,
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2PM. Added Performance: Sunday evening, October
14 at 7:30PM and Friday matinee, November 23 at 2PM. No performance: Thursday,
Photos by Paul Kolnik
The national tour
cast of The Color Purple
Grasan Kingsberry and
l-r: Rufus Bonds,
Jr., Jeannette Bayardelle, and Kimberly Ann Harris, Virginia Ann Woodruff and
Felicia P. Fields and
Stephanie St. James
and Michelle Williams
and LaToya London
and LaToya London