At the Tony Awards last night, held at the Beacon Theatre, the Menier Chocolate Factory led the British charge, taking home two awards for Best Musical Revival for The Color Purple, with Cynthia Erivo winning Best Actress in a Musical. The Color Purple began its journey at the company’s home base in London in 2013, where Cynthia Erivo played Celie.
Artistic Director David Babani said today, “We are enormously proud of everyone involved with the production of The Color Purple on Broadway – and it’s an honour to be recognised in this way by the theatre community in New York with the production winning Best Musical Revival, and the very brilliant Cynthia Erivo winning Best Actress in a Musical for her Broadway debut. It’s a wonderful time for the Menier at the moment with productions on both sides of the Atlantic playing to critical acclaim.”
“However wonderful the events of tonight, they are overshadowed by the tragedy in Orlando, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this awful event.”
As well as The Color Purple, the Menier has two productions currently running in London – David Baddiel: My Family Not the Sitcom at the Menier itself, and Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre, with a third, Florian Zeller’s The Truth, to open in the West End later this month. Rehearsals begin this morning in New York for Fiasco’s production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods which opens at the Menier in July.
The Color Purple, which opened to ecstatic reviews on 10 December 2015 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th street), is directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle, and stars the “incandescent new star” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) Cynthia Erivo in “a performance big enough to play in the Grand Canyon” (Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal), Tony Award-winner Heather Headley, who “crackles with electricity” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times), and the “powerhouse” (Linda Winer, Newsday) Danielle Brooks, who “shakes the house in a thrilling Broadway debut” (Marilyn Stasio, Variety). Erivo and Brooks are making their Broadway debuts.
Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel and the Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment motion picture, The Color Purple is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.
The Color Purple is an unforgettable story of enduring love and triumph over adversity. With a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, this stirring family chronicle follows the inspirational Celie, as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life.
For more information on the production, please visit www.ColorPurple.com