An all-star West End cast will perform one night only concert version of The Color Purple at London’s Cadogan Hall on Sunday 21 May.
The Color Purple tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world.
The show is being staged to raised funds for the British Theatre Academy, a performing arts programme that has inspired and nurtured the talent of thousands of young performers over the past 30 years. The concert will feature a chorus of more than 40 current BTA participants.
The cast features:
Wendy Mae Brown (as Sofia) – West End roles include Oda Mae Brown in the original cast of Ghost the Musical; Hattie in Kiss Me Kate; Serena in Porgy and Bess; Joanne in Rent.
Cavin Cornwall (Mister) – currently appearing in Disney’s Aladdin at the Prince Edward. He was Caiaphas in the recent Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Other West End roles include Curtis Shanks in Sister Act; Crown in Porgy and Bess; Billy Flynn in Chicago.
Tyrone Huntley (Harpo) – currently appearing as C.C. White in Dreamgirls at the Savoy. He won the Emerging Talent Award at the Evening Standard Awards and has been nominated Best Actor in a Musical at this year’s Olivier Awards for his Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. He also appeared in the original London casts of Memphis and The Book of Mormon.
Rachel John (Shug) – recently returned from Toronto where she played the role of Nicki Marron in The Bodyguard, also in the West End. Other West End roles include Felicia in Memphis; The Lion King; Sister Act; three years as Meat in We Will Rock You. It has recently been announced that Rachel will play Angelica in the UK premiere of Hamilton.
Hugh Maynard (Pa) – West End roles include John in the most recent revival of Miss Saigon (nominated Best Featured Actor in a New Production of a Musical in Broadway World Awards and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical in the WhatsOnStage Awards); Simba in The Lion King; Clopin in Notre Dame de Paris; Marvin Gaye in Dancing in the Streets; Sister Act. He recently became the first black performer in the UK to play the iconic role of Sweeney Todd.
Seyi Omooba (Nettie) – currently appearing in Headlong’s Junkyard at Bristol Old Vic. She received rave reviews as Sarah’s Friend in Ragtime at Charing Cross Theatre.
Marisha Wallace (Celie) – the American star of Dreamgirls is currently the alternate Effie at the Savoy. Her Broadway shows include the original casts of Something Rotten! and Disney’s Aladdin.
The creative team includes: musical director James Taylor, choreographer Mykal Rand, producer Matthew Chandler and producer and casting director Danielle Tarento.
Last Summer the BTA presented The Secret Garden at the Ambassadors Theatre for a month-long West End season and Godspell (featuring West End and Broadway stars Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimloo and George Maguire) together with pupils from the Academy.
The BTA is auditioning for young people to take part in The Color Purple. You can register at www.thecolorpurple.co.uk.
Inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, the inspirational story of Celie has been adapted for the stage by Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.