On the one year anniversary of their opening night, the producers of The Color Purple announced that they have recouped their entire $11 million investment in the show. In addition, the musical is boasting the highest cumulative attendance figures of any new show of the 2005-06 Broadway season, with more than 750,000 audience members now having seen the show.
After starting previews a month earlier, The Color Purple opened at the Broadway Theatre on December 1, 2005, to mixed to positive reviews. With the very public support of TV talk icon Oprah Winfrey, who invested $1 million in the show during its rehearsal process, the musical went on to become a word of mouth hit. After receiving 11 2006 Tony Award nominations, The Color Purple won one, for leading lady LaChanze. It was also honored with five Broadway.com Audience Awards, voted on by online theater fans, including Favorite New Broadway musical.
The Color Purple is based on the classic Alice Walker novel and subsequent Steven Spielberg film about a woman, who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Directed by Gary Griffin, it 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.
In addition to Winfrey, The Color Purple is produced by Scott Sanders, Roy Furman, Quincy Jones, Creative Battery, Anna Fantaci & Cheryl Lachowicz, Independent Presenters Network, Lowy Family Group, Stephanie McClelland, Gary Winnick, Jan Kallish, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Harvey Weinstein, Andrew Asnes & Adam Zotovich and Todd Johnson.