40 years ago — sorry if we made you feel old just now! — late pop icon Prince embarked on a career in Hollywood with his debut acting role in Purple Rain after years of dominating the Billboard charts in the late ’70s and early ’80s, vastly becoming the biggest act in music at the time outside of his often-compared contemporary, Michael Jackson. Rest in peace to both of those multitalented Black men.
The 1984 musical drama, from its GRAMMY-winning soundtrack and Oscar-winning lead single (“When Doves Cry”) to Prince’s NAACP Image Award-winning performance as lead actor, has achieved a sort of cult status that many view as a masterpiece — so perfect in fact, it’s been revisited over and over again for the past four decades and counting.
It’s for that reason that it excites us to a great degree to hear the fan-favorite film will soon be revived on Broadway as a stage play to commemorate Purple Rain‘s 40th anniversary this year.
Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Play https://t.co/RPsee0zGdX
— billboard (@billboard) January 8, 2024
Take a look below at what’s know so far in regards to the soon-to-be stage play adaptation of Purple Rain, via Variety:
“Based on the original screenplay by Albert Magnoli and William Blinn, the stage version will feature a book by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist who is currently taking Broadway by storm with the critically-heralded ‘Appropriate.’ Lileana Blain-Cruz, a Tony Award nominee who recently oversaw Lincoln Center’s acclaimed revival of ‘The Skin of Our Teeth,’ will direct the show.
Additional production details and timing will be announced in the coming months, the show’s producers said.
‘We can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to honor Prince and the ‘Purple Rain’ legacy with this stage adaptation of the beloved story,’ said L. Londell McMillan, chairman of The NorthStar Group, and Larry Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave Music. ‘We are thrilled with our Broadway partners and creative team, who are bringing a theatricality to the film’s original fictional story. We can’t wait for a new generation to discover ‘Purple Rain’ and for lovers of the original film and album to experience its power once again, this time live.’”
That information alone is enough to excite anyone, and it got us going in terms of other Hollywood films that would work perfect as a stage play. Similar to Sister Act, some films already have musical numbers in the plot that make it a given to rework for Broadway. As many across the nation witnessed with the impressive productions of Remembering James and R.E.S.P.E.C.T., which honored the late James Brown and Aretha Franklin, respectively, music biopics can also be a great source of inspiration for stage plays. We decided to do a bit of both and put together a selection of music-themed films over the years that we’d run to the TKTS booth to see brought to life on stage.
By the way, we can’t wait to see this scene come to life again!
Keep scrolling for our list of 15 music films that we think need to be reworked for Broadway…like, ASAP! Let us know if you agree, or have some other suggestions:
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