The Color Purple sets Broadway closing

Cynthia Erivo, pictured with Jennifer Hudson, receives a nomination for The Color Purple. Picture: Matthew Murphy

Cynthia Erivo giving her award-winning performance in The Color Purple. Picture: Matthew Murphy

The Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple will join the New Year exodus of Broadway musicals, setting a closing date of 8 January.

With its final finale, the Broadway mounting, which opened last December, will have played 33 previews and 449 regular performances. The show was a transplant of director John Doyle’s searing reworking, which premiered in 2013 at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory.

As in London, the revival stars Cynthia Erivo, whose performance has lifted her to Broadway stardom and a Tony Award. Erivo plays Celie, the downtrodden but eventually triumphant heroine of this musical adaptation of the Alice Walker novel. The Broadway cast currently includes Jennifer Holliday of Broadway Dreamgirls fame in the role of saloon singer Shug Avery, earlier played by Jennifer Hudson, of movie Dreamgirls fame, and then by Heather Headley, of Aida fame, the Elton John-Tim Rice version, not Verdi’s.

A North American tour of the show is planned to start in the fall of 2017.

Other Broadway musicals shutting down come the New Year include Fiddler On the Roof, winding up on 31 December; Matilda the Musical and Something Rotten!, both taking final bows on 1 January, and Jersey Boys, shuffling off on 15 January. Also, the limited engagement of Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical, which officially premiered in early October, is set to end on 15 January, while the still-briefer limited engagement of Falsettos, which has just opened, is currently due to expire on 8 January.

Ron Cohen

Readers may also be interested in:

The Color Purple – Bernard B Jacobs Theatre, New York – Review


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