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by BWW News Desk
Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders and the producing team of the Broadway smash hit The Color Purple, The Musical about Love, are proud to announce casting information for the Atlanta date of the first North American Touring production of The Color Purple. The show will play the Fabulous Fox Theatre for 24 performances from July 15 through August 3. Tickets are on sale NOW through www.ticketmaster.com and 404-817-8700. Group tickets can be purchased through the Fox Theatre Group Sales Dept. at 404-881-2000.
Nominated for eleven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, The Color Purple is based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice 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," states 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) is a Hunter College graduate from NYC. This Gospel recording artist released her debut CD entitled Praise Report in September 2005, which is available online at www. jeannettebayardelle.com. 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 Broadway.com Awards and she was a 2006 Drama League honoree. Felicia has worked throughout the Chicagoland area 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) portrayed Shug Avery on Broadway in The Color Purple. She also appeared on Broadway in: Wonderful Town, Bells Are Ringing, Play On! Her tour credits include: Wizard of Oz, and Dreamgirls (Deena) [Black Theatre Alliance nomination]. 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. 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.
STU JAMES (Harpo) is thrilled to be a part of such a timeless and amazing story as The Color Purple. He's a native of Atlanta, Georgia 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." Stu is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut Album Love Is (www.myspace.com/stujameslive) and he's working on a one man show entitled Son of the South.
LaToya London (Nettie). Being part of The Color Purple is a dream come true for LaToya. Now known to her fans simply as "London," she 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 www.latoyalondon.com
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 www.stephaniestjames.com
Also starring in the North American Tour are Ensemble members: Lynette DuPree, Kimberly Ann Harris and Virginia Ann Woodruff as the Church Ladies, Bridgette Bentley as the Church Soloist, and Adam Wade as Ol' Mister. Rounding out the cast are Shani Borden, Brian Harlan Brooks, Reneé Monique Brown, Latrisa Coleman, Darius Crenshaw, Tiffany Daniels, Quentin Earl Darrington, Alex de Castro, Lesly Terrell Donald, Aliyah D. Flowers, André Garner, Rhett George, Phyre Hawkins, Dameka Hayes, Warner Robins natives LaTonya Holmes and Jenna Ford Jackson, Chauncey Jenkins, Trent Armand Kendall, Keith Byron Kirk, Kristopher Thompson-Bolden, Diamond White, and Anthony Williams II.
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 original cast recording is available on EMI/Angel Records, and The Color Purple: A Memory Book of the Broadway Musical (Avalon/Carroll & Graf) is available in bookstores now. Ariel Mutual Funds is a proud sponsor of The Color Purple.