Plans for the upcoming South African première production of the Tony Award Winning Musical The Color Purple have changed. The will now open on Sunday 4 February 2018 in The Mandela at Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg.The musical will be produced by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay.
Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, Chief Executive Officer of Joburg City Theatres, is excited about the city’s foremost stage hosting and co-producing what is sure to be the major theatrical event in South Africa’s 2018 calendar. She saw the original version on Broadway a few years ago and is looking forward to the revival production with an all-star SA cast.
The Color Purple is based upon the 1982 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker and the 1985 Warner Bros / Amblin Entertainment Motion Picture, directed by Steven Spielberg. The musical The Color Purple, with a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, was originally produced on Broadway in 2005 by Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, Roy Furman and Quincy Jones. The current Broadway revival, enjoying great success boosted by its major Tony Award wins earlier this year, is a ‘stripped-down’ and re-conceived staging.
The book and musical arrangements from this Broadway production will be used in an otherwise new and original staging by director Janice Honeyman at Joburg Theatre in 2018, showcasing the talents of a completely South African creative team, cast and band.
The Color Purple is not just the story of a poor, pregnant 14-year-old with nobody to talk to but her sister and God. It is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who – through love – finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, it’s a story of hope: a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.
“The musical The Color Purple does not shy away from the brutal realities of its origin,” says Bernard Jay, executive producer of the South African production. “It addresses themes of sexism, racism, the disruption of traditional gender roles, women’s rights and sisterhood – themes with which South Africans live and grapple on a day-to-day basis. The Color Purple, although a vitally important contribution to African American history, will be startlingly relevant to today’s theatre audiences in South Africa.”
The producers advise that this musical may not be suitable for children under ten years of age.
The musical will have preview performances in The Mandela at Joburg Theatre from January 31 2018, with its official opening night on Sunday February 4 and running until Sunday March 4 2018.
Tickets from R240 are already on sale: telephone 0861 670 670, online at www.webtickets.co.za or www.joburgtheatre.com and in person at the Joburg Theatre box office. Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app, and walk-in at selected Pick n Pay stores (full list at www.webtickets.co.za/pnpoutlets.aspx). Patrons can also book online and pay at any Pick N Pay store.