Smith, Ivory, Butler and Devine Cast in Bway-Bound Purlie
Jacques C. Smith, Paulette Ivory, E. Faye Butler and Loretta Devine have signed on to headline the upcoming Broadway revival of Purlie, which will begin its pre-Broadway tryout at the Pasadena Playhouse on June 24th; Sheldon Epps will direct the boisterous musical.
Based on Ossie Davis' Purlie Victorious, the show boasts a score by Gary Geld and Peter Udell, with a book by Udell, David and Philip Rose. Purlie, which pits the evil racist Cap'n Cothcipee against the idealistic and crafty young preacher of the title, won the 1970 Tony Award for Best Musical, as well as capturing awards for original stars Cleavon Little and Melba Moore. Purlie was recently given an Encores! concert staging with Blair Underwood, Anika Noni Rose and Lillias White as the stars.
Smith, who has been cast in the title role, previously appeared at the Pasadena Playhouse in Blue, on Broadway in Rent, and regionally in Antigone, Before It Hits Home, School for Wives, The Green Bird and The Meeting; he has also been seen on the TV series Oz. Ivory, who will play Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, was featured in the national tour of Aida; she has also been seen in The Lion King, Smokey Joe's Café, The Hot Mikado, West Side Story, Buddy and A Woman of No Importance.
In other roles, Butler will play Idella Landy, and Devine will portray Missy Judson.
Butler has starred on Broadway in Blues and off-Broadway in Nunsense, and her numerous other credits include Mamma Mia!, Ain't Misbehavin', Dinah Was,
Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope, Polk County, Crumbs From The Table Of
Joy, Gospel According To Fishman, Christmas Carol, Comfortable Shoes,
Could It Be Magic, Ruthless, Showboat and Little Shop of Horrors. Devine originated the role of Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls, and is also a respected TV and film actress recognized for her roles on "Boston Public" and Lifetime's "Wild Card." On Broadway, she has appeared in Hair, Comin' Uptown and Big Deal, as well as in A Broadway Musical, The Colored Museum and East Texas Hot Links off-Broadway.
Billy Gill, Lyle Kanouse (as Cothcipee) and Harrison White will also be featured in the show, with Sean Blake, Meloney
Collins, Rachel Montez Collins, Ronnie Duncan, Derric Harris, Edwin
Henry, Danielle Alvergia Hobbs, Sara Beth Lane, Rocklin Thompson,
Timothy Ware, Lisa Nichole Wilkerson and Byron Glenn Willis comprising Purlie's ensemble.