The Color Purple

Fri, 07/11/2008 - 8:54am
By: The Citizen

Award-winning show comes to The Fox

The Color Purple

“The Color Purple, The Musical about Love,” based on the acclaimed 1983 epistolary novel by Alice Walker, is making its way to Atlanta next week when it sets up for a three week stint at The Fabulous Fox Theatre.

This is the first North American touring production of "The Color Purple," and audiences should expect a rousing performance from the cast which includes successful singers and actors. The musical opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre on December 1, 2005. After earning 11 2006 Tony Awards nominations, including Best Musical, and 910 regular performances, the Broadway production closed on February 24, 2008.

"The Color Purple" is based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg. It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discover her unique voice in the world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, "The Color Purple" is about hope and the healing power of love. 

“We are thrilled to host the tour of "The Color Purple" here in Atlanta in association with the National Black Arts Festival,” stated Christopher B. Manos, producer of Theater of the Stars. “Its powerful and timeless message is sure to resonate with our audiences, and we are thrilled to welcome this marvelous ensemble cast including Stu James, who is originally from Atlanta.”

The cast of "The Color Purple" includes Jeannette Bayardelle (Celie), a Hunter College graduate from New York City. This gospel recording artist released her debut CD entitled “Praise Report” in September 2005, which is available online at www. She starred on Broadway as Celie in "The Color Purple" and has performed in national and international tours of  ”Big River,” “Rent” and “Sister Act.”

Felicia P. Fields (Sofia) is a native Chicagoan who earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in "The Color Purple" on Broadway. Her performance also earned her a 2006 Theatre World Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, two Awards and she was a 2006 Drama League honoree. Fields has worked throughout the Chicagoland area in “Jammin’ With Pops,” “Hot Mikado,” “Show Boat,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Dreamgirls,” to name a few.

Angela Robinson (Shug Avery) portrayed Shug Avery on Broadway in "The Color Purple." She also appeared on Broadway in “Wonderful Town,” “Bells Are Ringing” and “Play On!” Her tour credits include “Wizard of Oz” and “Dreamgirls.” She’s performed extensively in regional theatre including the Baltimore Center Stage, Paper Mill, Pittsburgh Public, The Alliance, Prince Music Theatre, and TheatreWorks CA. Her roles on television include “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

Rufus Bonds Jr. (Mister) performed the role of Mufasa in Julie Taymor’s Broadway production of “The Lion King.” Bonds recently won the L.A. Weekly nomination, Best Ensemble, for his work in the Los Angeles premier of “Because They Have No Words,” directed by Emilie Beck. Bonds received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Jim in the Los Angeles Deaf West production of “Big River.” He has worked with such greats as Stephen Sondheim in “Merrily We Roll Along,” William Finn in “Romance In Hard Times” and Harold Prince in “Parade,” for which Bonds was nominated for both the Drama Desk and the FANY Award.

Stu James (Harpo) is a native of Atlanta and a graduate of Morehouse College. He performed on Broadway as Benny in “Rent.” His movie credits include Bill Condon’s “Dreamgirls,” “Downtown A Street Tale,” “House of Grim” and the D.K. Holmes feature “Burning Sands.” Television audiences know him from roles on “General Hospital,” “All My Children” and “Barbershop.” James is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut Album “Love Is” ( and he’s working on a one man show entitled “Son of the South.”

Latoya London (Nettie), now known to her fans simply as “London,” was named the early front runner to win season three of “American Idol” by Simon Cowell and Elton John. On-air she joined the ranks of “The Three Divas” alongside Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Barrino before she was shockingly voted off, ending up in fourth place. London later garnered a Peak Records recording contract and two Billboard-topping singles. Regional credits and tours include ”Beehive,” “Issues,” “Handles Messiah” and Quincy Jones’ “Blues In The Night” at The Hollywood Bowl. Her debut album “Love & Life” is in stores now. For more information and the latest news about Latoya visit

Stephanie St. James (Squeak) is a Los Angeles-based actress, singer and songwriter. She’s a proud advocate for the disease endometriosis. You can learn more about her campaign to raise awareness, her own personal story and struggle with the disease, and more on her acting credits and music at

As on Broadway, the first North American tour of "The Color Purple" is directed by Gary Griffin. "The Color Purple" 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, and choreography by Donald Byrd. The original creative team of Tony Award-winner John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Tony Award-winner Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Jon Weston (sound), Jonathan Tunick (orchestrations) and Kevin Stites (Music Supervisor) were reunited for the tour.

The first North American tour is produced by Oprah Winfrey, 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., Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Andrew Asnes & Adam Zotovich and Todd Johnson, and is produced in special association with AEG Live.

The show will play the Fabulous Fox Theatre for 24 performances from July 15 through August 3. Tickets are on sale now through and 404-817-8700. Group tickets can be purchased through the Fox Theatre Group Sales Dept. at 404-881-2000. Tickets are $29.50-62.50.

"The Color Purple" will play the Fabulous Fox Theatre in association with the National Black Arts Festival Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1:20 and 7 p.m.

For more information about "The Color Purple," please visit

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