*OWN will take viewers behind the curtain of Broadway’s “The Color Purple Musical” in a star-studded special titled “Oprah Goes to Broadway: The Color Purple,” which will feature the musical’s leading ladies: Cynthia Erivo (Celie), Danielle Brooks (Sophia), and Jennifer Hudson (Shug Avery).
The hour-long special will air December 19 at 10/9c, and coincides with the 30th anniversary of the film’s release. The musical is based on the novel by Alice Walker, who will reflect on the Pulitzer Prize winning book, and it’s artistic and cultural impact. She will be joined by Danny Glover, Lupita Nyong’o, Cicely Tyson, and Phylicia Rashad.
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women in the southern United States in the 1930s, and their low position in American culture.
“The Color Purple” musical ran on Broadway in 2005 and has been touring throughout the US since. The production earned eleven 2006 Tony Awards nominations.
The musical opened on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre on December 1, 2005. It was directed by Gary Griffin, produced by Scott Sanders, Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey. The production closed on February 24, 2008, after 30 previews and 910 regular performances. It recouped its $11 million investment within its first year on Broadway, and has grossed over $100 million to date.
The first national tour played in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre on February 28, 2010. Fantasia Barrino played the lead role of Celie from April 10, 2007, to January 6, 2008, becoming the first “American Idol” winner on Broadway. She reprised her role as Celie in the 2010 National tour from June 30 to September 13, 2010.
The original Broadway production starred LaChanze as Celie, Brandon Victor Dixon as Harpo, Felicia P. Fields as Sofia, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Nettie, Kingsley Leggs as Mister, Krisha Marcano as Squeak, and Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery.
Check out a peek at the behind-the-scenes video below, and keep clicking for more production photos of the actors in character.