Jan 2010 28

Oprah Winfrey Presents "The Color Purple," part of the Broadway Series at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. LouisThe Color Purple

The Fabulous Fox Theatre
St. Louis, MO
February 2-7, 2010

Oprah Winfrey presents THE COLOR PURPLE, a soul-stirring musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the Oscar-nominated film by Steven Spielberg. It is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who triumphs over tremendous odds to find joy in life, and her true inner beauty. Nominated for eleven Tony Awards®, THE COLOR PURPLE is a landmark theatrical event. With a joyous Grammy®-nominated score featuring jazz, gospel and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is capturing the hearts of young and old, and uniting audiences in a celebration of love.

Purchase tickets at Metrotix, or at the Fox Theatre Box Office.

About the Cast

Kenita R. Miller (Celie)

Kenita is ecstatic to be rejoining The Color Purple family!  Training: Eastman School of Music, AMDA.  B’way/Off B’way: Xanadu (Erato/Kira Cover), The Color Purple (Celie), Dessa Rose ( Dessa ), Best of Both Worlds (Rain).  Tours: The Civil War, Ragtime (Sarah) also at Papermill Playhouse, and Cardiff, Wales concert premiere.  Regional: Once on This Island (Timoune), Smokey Joe’s Café (Brenda).  “Thanks to her husband Justin, family & friends, and most of all God for the gift of life and song!”


Felicia P. Fields (Sofia)

A native Chicagoan, 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 Broadway.com Awards and she was a 2006 Drama League honoree.  Felicia has worked throughout the Chicagoland area and has received many Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for her performances in Jammin’ With Pops (Ella Fitzgerald), Hot Mikado (Katisha), Show Boat (Queenie), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Ma Rainey), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Nell/Amelia) and Dreamgirls (Effie Melody White), to name a few. Felicia’s stellar performance in Chicago’s Drury Lane production of Sophisticated Ladies earned her the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a Musical.


Angela Robinson (Shug Avery)

Broadway:  The Color Purple (Shug Avery/1st replacement), Wonderful Town, Bells Are Ringing, Play On!  Off-Broadway:  Radiant Baby (Diva Woman) at The Public [AUDELCO nomination], Call The Children Home at Primary Stages. Tours: Wizard of Oz, Dreamgirls (Deena) [Black Theatre Alliance nomination].  Regional: Baltimore Center Stage, George Street, Paper Mill, Pittsburgh Public, The Alliance, The Alley, Crossroads, Prince Music Theatre, TheatreWorks CA, Montclair TheatreFest.  Television: “Another Bed,” “A Diva’s Christmas Carol,” “Law & Order: SVU.”  Concerts:  Golden Boy, Pajama Game, Bye Bye Birdie at Encores!, A Little Night Music (Petra) with The Philadelphia Orchestra.  Graduate: Florida A&M University and The William Esper Studio.  Love to Family, Scotty, and El Shaddai. www.arobinson.biz


Rufus Bonds, Jr. (Mister),

returns to the Cadillac Palace Theatre where he performed the role of Mufasa in Julie Taymor’s Broadway production of The Lion King. Mr. 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. “Through Faith all things are possible.”


Stu James (Harpo),

is thankful to reprise the role of Harpo after returning from filming the upcoming L.C. Forrest Indie Feature, Epidemic Chronicle.  He earned an NAACP Theatre Award Nomination for his portrayal of Harpo.  He is a native of Atlanta, GA. and a graduate of Morehouse College.  Broadway: RENT (Benjamin Coffin III).  Off-Broadway/Regional: Barnstormer, Once On This Island, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Cotton Patch Gospel.  Film: Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls; Downtown A Street Tale.  TV: “General Hospital,” “All My Children,” and “Barbershop.”  Stu is putting the finishing touches on his debut album “Love Is” (www.stujames.net ).  He thanks God for abundance and overflow, and his family (Happy 100th Big Mama), friends and Williams Talent Agency for believing in him!!!  “And So It Is!!!


La Toya London (Nettie),

Being part of The Color Purple has been an honor for La Toya London.  She was named the early front runner to win season three of “American Idol” by Simon Cowell, Elton John, and fans.  On-air she joined the ranks of “The Three Divas” alongside Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Barrino before she was shockingly voted off, coming in fourth place.  La Toya later garnered a Peak Records recording deal and two Billboard-topping singles.Regional/Tours: Handel’s Messiah, Quincy Jones’ Blues In The Night at The Hollywood Bowl, Issues We All Got ‘Em, and Beehive.  www.latoyalondon.com


Tiffany Daniels (Squeak),

is thankful and blessed to be part of this experience. Tiffany received her B.S. from Cornell University. Upon graduation she received a full dance scholarship at Hollywood&’s Edge Performing Arts Center.; Regional Theatre: Aida. Other: Los Angeles Laker Girl and CBS’s “Cold Case.” Thanks to mom for constant love and friendship.


Lynette DuPree (Church Lady Jarene/u/s Sofia)

Broadway: Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; Smokey Joe’s Café; A New Brain; Truly Blessed. Tours: Dreamgirls, Elmer Gantry, Carousel, House Arrest, Waiting to be Invited. Selected TV: “Desperate Housewives,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Medium,” “NYPD Blue,” “The District,” Oprah Winfrey Presents “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Film: Random Hearts, Harlem Aria, Zig Zag, Straight Out of Compton. Lynette would like to thank her loving husband, Charles Richardson, along with family and friends for their support. “All praises to Jehovah Jireh!”


Kimberly Ann Harris (Church Lady Doris/u/s Sofia),

is an original cast member of The Color Purple on Broadway. Tours and N.Y.: The Full Monty, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Sophisticated Ladies, Blues in the Night, Ain’t Misbehavin,’ As Thousands Cheer, The Apple Tree and Carmen Jones. Regional: The Color Purple (Atlanta); Play On!, Once on This Island, Barnum, Abyssinia. TV: “Law & Order,” “Third Watch,” “One Life to Live,” etc.  Kimberly also writes and has directed several productions.  “Thanks to family and friends and thank you so much God.” Please visit me at KimberlyAnnHarris.com.


Virginia Ann Woodruff (Church Lady Darlene)

Broadway: The Color Purple (original cast), All Shook Up, Smokey Joe’s Café. Off-Broadway: Crowns, Yo Alice. National tours: The Wiz, Once on This Island, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Who’s Tommy. Regional: Dreamgirls; Beehive; Signed, Sealed, Delivered; Abyssinia; And the World Goes ’Round; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Avenue X. Concerts: Broadway Divas, BIV, Michael Jackson, VEE in Concert. Film: Legally Blonde 2, Preachin’ to the Choir. “God’s been good.”


Adam Wade (Ol’ Mister),

First African-American to host a game show (CBS’s “Musical Chairs”). TV favorites: “Guiding Light,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Law & Order,” “Sanford and Son,” “What’s Happening,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times.”  Stage includes: Staggerlee, Guys and Dolls, Black Girl, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Lesson Before Dying, The Cherry Orchard.  Adam’s career also includes directing, recording (hit record: “Ruby”) and many films, and he is a two-time AUDELCO winner.  He went back to school after 40 years and earned his B.A. and Masters at Lehman and Brooklyn Colleges.


Yolanda Wyns (Church Soloist/u/s Sofia)

National Tours: The Color Purple (Church Lady Jarene). Broadway: The Color Purple (Church Lady Doris, u/s Sofia).  Off-Broadway: Black Nativity, God’s Creation, Sing About Love. Recordings: Many Faces, A Live Recording of Praise and Worship, and numerous international recordings. Yolanda graduated from LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music. She has worked with renowned artists such as Freddie Jackson, Stephanie Mills, and Angie Stone. www.yolandawyns.com


Kevin Boseman (Ensemble),

Favorite theater includes: Broadway revival of Equus, the national tour of The Lion King, the European tour of Joey McNeely’s West Side Story, the Kennedy Center’s production of Ragtime, and a concert version of Once On This Island for BCEFA.  Thanks to cesd, Telsey Casting, Mom & Dad, and Mark.


Shelby Braxton-Brooks (Ensemble/u/s Squeak),

is pleased to rejoin The Color Purple. Broadway: The Color Purple (u/s Squeak). Regional: Tommy (Acid Queen), Hairspray (Dynamite), West Side Story (Consuelo). She is a proud graduate of Harvard University and Washington D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Find out more about Shelby at www.ShelbyBraxtonBrooks.com!


Darius Crenshaw (Dance Captain/Swing)

Broadway debut in The Color Purple.  Attended School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, followed by the School of American Ballet under Stanley Williams, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Peter Martins (Mae L. Wien award winner).  New York City Ballet (8 years) and Cincinnati Ballet (soloist). Currently dancing in film, Los Angeles Opera, and Los Angeles Ballet.


David Aron Damane (Pa/u/s Mister/u/s Ol’ Mister)

Broadway: Big River, The Life, Riverdance, Porgy & Bess, A Christmas Carol.  Off-Broadway: Dinah Was, Living In the Wind, Abyssinia.  National: Big River, Riverdance, Stratford Shakespeare, Ford’s Theatre, Goodspeed, Papermill, North Shore, Kennedy Center.  TV: “Law & Order,” “SVU,” “All My Children,” “Guiding Light,” “Hope & Faith,” “America,” etc.


Lesly Terrell Donald (Bobby/Buster/u/s Harpo),

Chicago native and proud U.S. Navy Submarine Veteran. Credits: Rent, Miss Saigon, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, Porgy and Bess and Two Trains Running. Lesly has also entertained our Armed Forces with the USO. “Shout-outs to mom, dad, God, family, friends and my boo. To our brave military members, ‘I salute you—God Bless.’”   www.myspace.com/ltdonald


Doug Eskew (Preacher/u/s Mister)

Broadway: The Color Purple, Big Moe in Five Guys Named Moe, Truly Blessed. Off-Broadway: Thunder Knocking on the Door, Josephine Song. National tours: Cats, Dreamgirls, Ain’t Misbehavin’; and Five Guys Named Moe (NAACP nomination and L.A. Ovation Award). Regional credits: Polk County, Crowns, Golden Boy and Thunder Knocking on the Door (Helen Hayes nomination).


André Garner (Swing/u/s Harpo),

is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech University (B.S. Business Management). Broadway: Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Music Man, Marie Christine, Grease, Encores! Broadway Bash 2003. Off-Broadway: Little Ham, From My Hometown. He gives much love to family and friends for all the love and support. “God Bless.”


LaTrisa A. Harper (Dance Captain/Swing/u/s Nettie/u/s Squeak),

a Fort Pierce, FL native, danced on full scholarship at The Ailey School and was a member Ailey II.  Broadway: The Color Purple (original cast). Featured performer in The Lion King.  Broadway workshop: Beehive with Debbie Allen. Tour: Chicago (Mona).  Play: On Strivers Row (Cobina).  BFA Towson State University.  Proud AEA member.


Phyre Hawkins (Swing/u/s Celie),

a Flint, MI native, is honored to be a part of TCP.  After graduating The American Academy of Dramatic Arts she performed with Avenue Q (Las Vegas) and several shows with The Classical Theatre of Harlem.  She thanks God for “Faith and Favor” and her family for their unending love, support, and PRAYERS.


Tim Hunter (Ensemble),

Broadway/Tours: The Lion King, Aida, The Gershwins Fascinating Rhythm, Cats, Miss Saigon, Sarafina and Dreamgirls. TV/Film: “30 rock,” Confessions of a Shopaholic.  Commercials: American Express, Kodak, Pontiac Buick, Mylanta, and Fruitopia.  Upcoming film: Monogamy.  Tim is thrilled to join this company and thanks his family and friends for their love and support.


Dana Marie Ingraham (Daisy/Ensemble),

began her training under Bernice Johnson in New York.  She subsequently trained at LaGuardia H.S. of Performing Arts, The Ailey School, and SMU.  Companies: Philadanco, Armitage Gone! Dance, Ballethnic.  B’way credits: Hot Feet; Nat’l Tour: The Lion King.  Awards: Presidential Scholar of the Arts.  Proud AEA member.


Brandi Chavonne Massey (u/s Celie/u/s Nettie),

A graduate of Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts and an alumnus of AMDA.  London: Disney’s The Lion King (Nala).  Broadway: The Color Purple (Celie/Nettie); Wicked (Elphaba); Caroline, or Change (The Radio); Jekyll & Hyde (Lucy).  NY: Baby (Pam); Hair (Dionne); Carmen Jones (Myrt); Ball w/  L.L. Cool J / Savion Glover (Muse).  Regional: Dream Girls (Lorrell), Bubbling Brown Sugar (Young Irene); The Wiz (Dorothy); Once on This Island (TiMoune); Cinderella (Cinderella); Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette);  Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene); BIV.  Thanks to: God, Mom, Friends, family, TEG


Reva Rice (Ensemble/u/s Shug Avery),

Broadway: Starlight Express (original, Pearl, and London’s West End ), Fosse (starring lead), Chicago (Velma Kelly and Nat’l tour). 1st Nat’l tours starring roles: Starlight Express, Smokey Joe’s Café, Fosse. Las Vegas starring roles: Starlight Express, Sign, Sealed Delivered, Spamalot.  Helen Hayes Award, Joseph Jeffrey Award, Black Theaters Alliance Award nominee.


Horace V. Rogers (Grady/u/s Mister),

RENT (Collins), The Lion King (Mufasa), Brooklyn, Tarzan.  Television: “Star Search”(Male-Vocalist), Showtime’s “Soul Food.” Recordings: Willie Nelson, BeBe & CeCe Winans’ Greatest Hits, “Son of Man,” Tarzan CD (Soloist).  Thanks to The National Black Theater Festival www.nbtf.org.  John, Marion, Heather: FBI Agency.  “This is for my ‘Sunny Sun Son’ Mpho.”


Drew J. Shuler (Ensemble),

a Fort Lauderdale, FL, native received his training at USF and on fellowship at the Alvin Ailey School.  Drew has appeared in productions of Nefertiti (Deeply Rooted Productions) and the international tour of Aida (Big League Productions).  He is blessed and honored to make his Broadway debut with The Color Purple!


Kristopher Thompson-Bolden (Ensemble/u/s Harpo),

is thrilled and honored to join The Color Purple family.  Favorite roles: Pepe (TUTS), Richie (CDT), Asher (Joseph…National Tour).  Training: B.M. in Musical Theatre from Baldwin-Wallace College.  Special thanks to JC, Mama, Danielle/TalentWorks, Telsey casting, and all of his supportive friends and family.  “Awww Lawd..I’m HERE!”


Dawn Marie Watson (Ensemble),

is thrilled to be a part of The Color Purple! A native of Brooklyn, NY, Dawn Marie obtained her BFA from SUNY Purchase. Company work: Principle dancer with The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). Regional Credits: Dreamgirls (Lorell u/s), Purlie. Love you Mommy, Kevin, DB, Kalia, Nato, the Sugland and Pugh families.


Hollie E. Wright (Ensemble),

a Philadelphia native, earned BFA in Dance Education from The University of the Arts.  Company work: principle dancer with The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). Broadway credit: Hot Feet, cover to and performed the leading role. TV and Film: Bridezilla Promo, Beloved, Podcastgo.com, The Great Observer. Thanks her family, mentors.  “Dreams Do Come True!”


Quotes from the creative team of THE COLOR PURPLE:

Oprah Winfrey (Producer)

“This is what it feels like to love, I believe. Everything about the Color Purple feels like love to me.”

Alice Walker (Author)

“The novel is not about fighting or abusing in any way. It’s about helping people see that we are just human beings here. We’re really trying to live lives that are fulfilling and happy.”

Marsha Norman (Book)

“What I did a lot with Brenda, Allee, and Stephen was to say what the dramatic content of the lyrics had to be, and where it had to end up. It’s like hooking up train cars.” (on working with the songwriters)

Scott Sanders (Producer)

“Celie was a great protagonist, and although my life in no way mirrored hers, in the same way that every person has to overcome adversity in life and deal with obstacles and hardships, it spoke to me that she was able to pick herself up and move forward day after day.”

Gary Griffin (Director)

“It’s a strong, powerful emotionally gripping story, a big story, a story of the triumph of the human spirit. All things that make a good musical.”

Brenda Russell (Songwriter)

“Immediately there was magic in the creative process between the three of us. One day I said ‘We need something bigger.’ There is this wonderful principle that many of us believe in: You have to put something out there for the universe to answer you back.”

Paul Tazewell (Costume Design)

“Although there are some beautiful period costumes in the show, the draw for me was more than just making beautiful dresses. What’s important is to clearly render who these people might be and to make them as individual as possible.”

John Lee Beatty (Set Design)

“The set is from the soul. It’s not calculated, not a window dressing approach of making it pretty pretty to sell tickets.”


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