Talk show mogul Oprah Winfrey recently discussed her dreams of making her Broadway debut, and now she could be producing a newly imagined musical adaptation of The Color Purple on the Great White Way, according to The New York Times. Director John Doyle’s streamlined production is currently playing at the 190-seat Menier Chocolate Factory in London, where it is scheduled to run through September 14. In addition to Broadway, Winfrey and producer Scott Sanders are reportedly making preliminary plans to open the musical in both the West End and Africa. No theater or dates have been announced.
Featuring a book by Marsha Norman, lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and music by Russell and Willis, The Color Purple opened December 1, 2005, at the Broadway Theatre, where it played through February 24, 2008. During its run, the musical recouped its $11 million investment. The new staging cuts approximately 30 minutes of material from the original production.
Based on the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discovers her voice in the world. The original Broadway production was directed by Gary Griffin, and starred Brandon Victor Dixon, Renee Elise Goldsberry and LaChanze, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Celie. Winfrey was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Sofia in the 1985 film adaptation of The Color Purple and was part of the producing team for the original Broadway production.